Do you usually eat a good bowl of lentils often? For dessert, choose an orange. This is the scientific explanation.
We will not discover anything new about the benefit of legumes for our body. In the specific case of the lentils, are known for your iron contribution, but also in folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, etc.
As our colleague Andrea Gómez explains in Business Insider, according to the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), lentils contribute 7 milligrams of iron per 100 grams consumed. That is 60% of the iron that our body needs per day.
Lentils have three times more iron than a fillet of beef, but what few people know is that iron from a vegetable is different from that of an animal.
Iron from an animal is called heme because it comes from hemoglobin, from the blood. This means that it is easier to absorb by our body, when we eat a steak.
On the other hand, vegetable iron is non-heme, and although it is the same mineral, it is more difficult to absorb by our metabolism.
This means that our body is able to retain between 10-15% of iron comes from animals, and 2-5% from plants. That is, from lentils.
Although lentils have 3 times more iron than a fillet of beef, you will probably get more iron from the meat. Unless you eat an orange…
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Iron is difficult to absorb because there are molecules in our body such as phosphates or tannins, which prevent it. But on the contrary, studies have proven that 25 milligrams of vitamin C in 2 meals a day doubles the absorption of iron.
So the nutritional recommendation is simple: as long as you eat lentils have dessert, or throughout the day, a couple of oranges, tangerines, or other fruit that contains vitamin C. You will double the absorption of iron, and the lentils will be much more beneficial for your body.
It is a simple and easy advice to follow, because everyone likes oranges or mandarins, although they are not easy to get all year round.