7 Health Benefits of Lentils
Article: Lentils by J. Wilcox
Lately, lentils have become a tasty staple in my diet. Low in calories and high in nutrition, they are the perfect legume to eat in salads, spreads, for crudité and crackers, and as an item on a vegetarian dinner plate. I always gravitate towards foods that are easy to cook, and lentils are a hassle-free compliment to any meal. Nutty and earthy in flavor, they have a high nutritional value that anyone can benefit from by incorporating this healthy legume into their diet.
Eat lentils and reap their health benefits including:
1. Lower Cholesterol
They help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
2. Heart Health
Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. They are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!
3. Digestive Health
Insoluble dietary fiber found in them helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
4. Stabilized Blood Sugar
Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
5. Good Protein
Of all legumes and nuts, they contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
6. Increases Energy
They increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
7. Weight Loss
Although they include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.