Why to try them: This superfood gives you protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. And lentils are higher in most B vitamins and folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age because folate reduces the risk of birth defects. Plus, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered that the pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, cancer, and the aging process in general. Not too shabby for something the size of a pencil eraser.
What to do with them: Lentils can be stored a long time, are easy to make, and are one of the cheapest protein sources going, at just 75 cents per pound at grocery stores. And unlike other legumes, you don't have to soak them before cooking. Just rinse them in cold water and simmer in water or broth. Enjoy them plain or spiced with herbs, onions, or garlic.
Recipe by Mark Bittman
This recipe is as easy as it is tasty.
Prep: 5 minutes
Back to: 'World's Healthiest Foods'