Diseases of Lentils
The common diseases of lentils and their control are presented as under:
Rust is a common disease of lentils. This disease occurs after flowering, where yellow spots are observed on the leaves, which later on changes to brown and ultimately black circles. Sometime similar spots occur on pods and stems.
The Rust can be controlled by:
- Adopting disease resistant varieties;
- Destroy and safely dispose the affected plants;
- Use disease free seed; and
- Planting at right time because delayed planting is susceptible to disease infestations.
Blight is another disease of lentil, which normally appears in high rainfall areas and thus it is normally not witnessed in Spate irrigated areas except in extremely wet years. In this disease the stems, leaves and pods are having brown or black spots.
Blight can be controlled by:
- use of healthy seed and treating it before planting with Benlate at the rate of 3 gms per kg of seed;
- after the harvest destroy safely the affected plants; and
- Following crop rotation.
is another common disease and it affects the stem and then plant dry. White fungus is witnessed on the affected parts of the plant. The control is only through crop rotation by avoiding continued plantation of lentils in the same field.
Root Rot is another common disease which is caused by fungus and it affects the root and then roots breaks down in to pieces and ultimately root is dead. It can be effectively controlled by adopting crop rotation.
Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils)
- Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
- The higher fiber content of lentils helps in increasing the size of stool; hence, speeding the journey of waste products through the gut. In short, lentils are useful for alleviating constipation. The fiber content also reduces the risk and the symptoms of diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon wall.
- The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.
- The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.
- Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
- Apart from providing low burning complex carbohydrates, lentils increase energy levels by replenishing iron stores. This is particularly very important for menstruating women, who are at a higher risk of iron deficiency.
- Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
- Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.
- Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.