Puy Type Lentils
Puy lentils – Nutritional Profile
Puy lentils are a small green version of this important food group. They are extremely nutritious and provide good levels of nutrition across all areas of their nutrition profile. As a food group, after soya and hemp they have the highest protein amounts of any beans and they provide up to 30% of their calories this way.
The biggest proportion of this is in the form of fibre, soluble fibre in particular. Soluble fibre, when found in plentiful supply, will result in efficient removal of cholesterol and excessive bile acids in the intestine. Brown lentils and their green cousins Puy lentils contain a higher concentration of dietary fibre than their red cousins at 31% rather than 11%.
A 100g, cup of lentils will provide the diet with 60g carbohydrate, 31g dietary fibre and the merest trace of fat at 1g. Other vital nutrients found will include 122mg magnesium, 479mcg folate, 56mg calcium, 7.54mg iron, 122mg magnesium, 451mg phosphorus, 955 mg potassium and 4.78mg zinc.
Puy Lentils – Health Benefits
One of the most widely thought of nutritional benefits associated with lentils is the way they interact with cholesterol. Soluble dietary fibre collects in the colon in the form of a colloidal gel. This gel collects harmful LDL cholesterol, preventing it from reaching the bloodstream and promoting the more beneficial HDL cholesterol. This interaction slows down or even removes the risk of arteriosclerosis whilst ensuring, through the availability of HDL cholesterol, that blood vessels remain at their most flexible thus maintaining low blood pressure.
A study of 16,000 men who had all types of diet, across 7 countries showed an 82% reduction in the risk of death from heart disease where legumes including lentils were present in the diet. A further study recorded 12% less coronary heart disease and 11% less cardio vascular problems in 10,000 Americans who consumed 5g fibre on a daily basis.
Energy production is reregulated by the methylation cycle. It is a metabolic process and folate, present in Puy lentils is critical to this process. Folate has also been identified as having a role in the management of many depressive conditions in adults.
Magnesium maintains the health of blood vessels by acting as a guard against unwarranted electrical impulses from elsewhere in the body. Where magnesium is present in correct quantities blood vessels relax due to the shielding effect of magnesium and this leads to better managed blood pressure.
In western society in 21st century, Type 2 diabetes is the biggest health concern. Along with glycaemia and insulin dependent diabetes it benefits from a diet that is rich in fibre as the fibre will control the speed at which blood sugars are released from the colon into the bloodstream.
Soluble fibre found in lentils ensures that carbohydrate is released into the blood stream at a lower rate when there is adequate fibre in the diet. The flooding effect caused by foods with refined carbohydrates such as white flour, is minimised. Current thinking in dietary nutrition considers Glycemic Index (GI) which is the rate at which carbohydrate is released into the bloodstream. Low GI foods such as lentils are regarded as more beneficial. Puy Lentils are regarded as a Low GI food.
Research in America that compared two groups of people fed one group the standard American Diabetic diet and a second group with an increased level of 50g fibre. The first group were found to have lower levels of blood sugar along with 7% lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Haemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Where there is blood loss, as with women menstruating, efficient replacement of lost haemoglobin is essential and Iron, present in Puy lentils forms an integral part of the replenishment process.
Calcium is widely known to benefit teeth and bones but it is also important in the health and functioning of nerves and muscle tissue. Phosphorus is important as it works alongside calcium in managing bone density and on its own as an energy related component in all cells. Potassium is present in the body in small but vitally important electrolyte qualities as it is associated with a wide variety of processes including nerve conduction, energy production and the control of heartbeat.
Puy Lentils – Product History
Puy lentils are an attractive, green, marbled lentil that is grown under a Protected Designation of Origin. Lentils have been thought by some to be linked with diet in Neolithic times and their spread as a world foodstuff can growth can be traced back to India and Pakistan.
They are a type of bean which grows in a pod containing one or two seeds which are joined together in the pod. Unlike red lentils Puy lentils are never sold their spilt form and are noticed for their ability to hold shape whilst they are cooked and for an particularly fine nutty flavour.
Lentils also have anti-nutritional factors. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme that is inhibited by phytate which is found in lentils. Phytate can be minimised by overnight soaking in warm water and then using fresh water for cooking.