Has your grandmother ever told you that you should drink juice before eating lentils? It may sound like Chinese to you or you may have heard it somewhere. Is it an urban myth that the iron is better absorbed doing it? In this article we explain why it works and what kind of juices are valid. Pay attention because what you are going to read can change your diet forever.
Drink juice before eating lentils: which one?
It is not necessary to be in possession of a degree in biochemistry to understand what you are going to read next. In addition to the grandmothers, it is the nutritionists who do not tire of repeating the mythical juice. But how does it work? To begin with, not all of them are worth it. The one of orange, the one recommended by your family, it is valid. Just as acceptable as lemon lime, strawberries, any fruit of the forest, kiwi… What do they all have in common? The Vitamin C.
First of all, it should be emphasized that they can be consumed in their solid format too. The vitamin is not absorbed in greater quantity when squeezed. But why does it help absorb iron? The key is learning to distinguish two kinds of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. The first is from Animal origin and it is present in both meat and fish. The second is from vegetable origin and it lacks hemoglobin (which gives it its name).
This molecule is in charge, as we are taught in school, of transporting the oxygen of the blood. Its structure, here the thing is technical, consists of iron in the middle surrounded by a ring called pyrrole. The presence of this supposes that we absorb between the 10 and 25% of the iron of the flesh. In contrast, plant products lack the ring. The result is that it only reaches us between the 2 and 5%. Iron is weakened by other components before it is absorbed.
How to remedy it
Drink juice before eating lentils, with vitamin C, it will help us greatly. This favors an acidic pH in the stomach that maintains iron in its reduced form. Another reason is that it protects the non-heme iron, unprotected by the absence of ring, from the wicked phytates y tannins (also present in lentils and natural enemies of iron). Thus, we increase the percentage of absorption in one of the foods richest in iron (8 grams out of 100). Do you dare drink juice before eating lentils?