Lentils are a staple food that is strongly recommended to be included in each person’s diet. Lentils are perfect vegetable to eat in summer in salads, pastas, and as a component in a vegetarian meal as they low in calories, high in protein and fibers. Additionally, they are rich natural source of folate and manganese, easy to prepare, versatile and highly nutritious ingredient.
According to many studies, increasing consumption of plant food like lentils reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality, promotes the healthy complexion and hair, increases energy, and overall lower weight.
Health benefits of lentils
1. Lower Cholesterol
Thanks to its high soluble fiber levels, lentils have the ability to lower blood cholesterol, thus reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke and maintaining your arteries clean.
2. Heart health
According to several studies, eating foods high in fiber like lentils can help decrease the risk of heart disease. Lentils are also an excellent source of folate and magnesium, which are great heart health boosters.
Folate lowers homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease.
Magnesium stimulates blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been a direct indicator of heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!
3. Digestive health
If you are struggling with digestive problems like constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis, then including lentils in your diet can significantly improve digestion thanks to its insoluble dietary fiber.
4. Stabilize blood sugar
Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slows down digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. This can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
5. Good source of Protein
Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the highest levels of protein. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, 26% of the calories from lentil are attributed to proteins, which makes them extremely beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.
6. Increases energy
Lentils have rich iron content, responsible for carrying oxygen through your body, which is the key to energy production and metabolism. Lentils can help you boost your energy due to its fiber and complex carbonhydrates.
7. Weight Loss
Despite being rich in beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. A cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still makes you feel full and satisfied.
According to recent study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who eat beans had a 22 percent lower risk of obesity and had greater chances to have a smaller waistline than people who did not eat beans. Beans are rich in soluble fiber, which slows down digestion and makes you feel full for longer. One cup (250 ml) of black beans, for example, provides 60 percent of the daily value (VD) * for the fiber.
8. Lower risk of cancer
According to a dietary data for 90,630 women aged 26-46, conducted by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, those who ate beans and lentils at least twice a week had a 25 percent lower risk of cancer than women who ate only once a month.
9. Control of high blood pressure
A recent Australian study discovered that dietary protein and soluble fiber can prevent hypertension and regulate blood pressure control. Researchers recommended legumes as a way to increase both nutrients in their daily diet.
10. Prevent birth defects
Women considering having children are strongly recommended to eat lentils due to its rich folate content, responsible for preventing defects in the development of neural tubes. One cup of lentils provides a whopping 90 percent of DV of folate.