Lentils are believed to have originated in central Asia, having been consumed since prehistoric times. They are one of the first foods to have ever been cultivated. Lentil seeds dating back 8000 years have been found at archeological sites in the Middle East. Lentils were mentioned in the Bible both as the item that Jacob traded to Esau for his birthright and as a part of bread that was made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. Lentils are a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Lentils come in different colors. Red, yellow, green, brown, black are prominent ones. The ones with skin on are more nutritious than its de skinned siblings. As a member of the legume family, lentils are tiny protein powerhouses. They are also high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. In short, eating lentils does a body good. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils having to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? It is only 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD. Lentils are a daily feature on Indian diets especially in Northern Parts of India. You may ferment them in water overnight to increase the protein value. The Indian name for Lentil is DAL (“ duh-aaa-ll”).You can even use Lentil Flour or DAL flour to make crepes. To boil lentils, use three cups of liquid for each cup of lentils. Lentils placed in already boiling water will be easier to digest than those that were brought to a boil with the water.