Top 5 Lentils To Include In Your Protein-Rich Diet

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet; it keeps our body cells in good shape and provides energy for day-to-day work. We always keep an eye on our sugar, salt, and calorie intake, but may often forget about the daily protein requirement. It is essential for a good digestive system and maintaining a healthy weight. Most of us depend on meat, eggs, and dairy products for our daily protein.

But there are other vegetarian options available, such as peanuts, almonds, chickpeas, and—most importantly—lentils. These tiny seeds from the legume family are super nutritious and very easy to add to your daily diet. In India, lentil, or dal, is an important part of a meal that is mostly eaten with rice and roti. Legumes help keep you full for a long time and also taste amazing.

Here are the top five protein-rich lentils you must include in your diet:

Black Lentil

Black lentils, or urad dal, are one of the most nutritious pulses. Apart from protein, it is also a rich source of folate, zinc, vitamins A, C, and iron. As urad dal is low in fat and calories, it will also keep your digestive system healthy. Dal makhani is the most popular dish cooked with black lentils.

Bengal Gram Split

Loaded with protein and fibre, it is commonly known as chana dal. Just one cup of chana dal can benefit you in many ways. This lentil is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, and protein. It not only provides strength to the body but also regulates blood pressure.

Red Lentil 

Red lentil, or masoor dal, is the most common lentil in North Indian households. It is mostly consumed with rice for lunch, along with sabzi. This dal is extremely rich in protein, fibre, iron, and vitamins, which makes it ideal for a weight-loss diet.

Pigeon Pea Lentil 

Also known as "tur" or "toor dal," this is another staple lentil of India that is usually mixed with masoor dal and then cooked. We often prepare khichdi with pigeon pea lentils, and it is also good for diabetes and heart issues. Down South, this lentil is used to make the staple sambar that's served with idlis, dosas, steamed rice, and more.

Green Gram  

Green gram, or moong dal, is one of the healthiest lentils and is used in both sweet and savoury dishes. This superfood has lots of health benefits, such as boosting blood circulation, strengthening bones, and improving skin health. You can also eat it raw by soaking it overnight or by tying it in a muslin after the soak for a few days to enjoy a refreshing sprout salad.

Including protein-rich foods in our daily diet is crucial to maintaining good health. While many people depend on meat, eggs, and dairy products, lentils are an excellent vegetarian or vegan option that is high in protein and packed with nutrients. In India, lentils, or dal, are an essential part of a meal, and there are numerous delicious dishes that can be made with lentils. The top five protein-rich lentils that you should consider including in your diet are black lentils, bengal gram split, red lentils, pigeon pea lentils, and green gram. These lentils are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals that can help keep you full and provide energy for day-to-day work. Try incorporating these lentils into your meals for a tasty and nutritious boost.