Lentils are the pulses that people have been eating for centuries. They are easy to harvest and the food is extremely healthy.
Lentils are grown in many areas worldwide but according to the FAOSTAT report, the majority of lentil crops come from Canada, Australia, and India.
There are more than 15 kinds of lentils and every single one of which is rich in vitamins and minerals.
However, the most common types of lentil are french green, red and white.
There are many health advantages of introducing lentils to your diet like:
100 grams of cooked lentils provide around 116 calories.
Among many minerals and nutrients lentils contain:
Eating lentils is extremely healthy and it might be one of the best foods you can add to your ration.
Here are 12 amazing health benefits of lentils that you need to know.
1. Lentils are good for heart health
Lentils contain a lot of fiber which is essential for keeping your heart healthy.
If American Heart Association is right, then consuming lentils can actually lower the risk of high LDL cholesterol levels. And that's far from all the benefits you get for eating lentils.
They are rich in magnesium, potassium, fiber and calcium.
This doesn't only sound healthy, it really is. All the minerals and vitamins that are found in lentils will balance your blood pressure and lower your risk of having a heart attack.
If you are still in doubt, read on to find out more advantages of adding lentils to your diet.
2. Maintain bone density and reduce risk of kidney stones
Kidney stones are not good news for anyone, so it makes sense to think about prevention now rather than spend money and time on cure later.
When it comes to preventing the formation of kidney stones, the best foods are oranges, yogurt and of course lentils.
Well, lentils contain high numbers of fiber which helps kidneys to function properly.(1)
They also have phosphorus that is also essential for bones and teeth because it plays an important role in the formation of bones. Just as with anything else, the right amount will do you right.(2)
3. Reduce risk of stroke and blood pressure
Turns out, if you eat right foods, you can reduce the possibility of having a stroke and having troubles with blood pressure.
A daily cup of lentils can save you a lot of money, time and stress that would otherwise go on medicine and hospital visits.
The reason is that lentils are rich in folic acid that helps reduce blood pressure levels in hypertensive people.(3)
And once the risk of high blood pressure is reduced, the occurrence of stroke is also reduced.(4)
4. Help to maintain a healthy weight
At first, it might seem that eating those small seeds won't be good for your weight.
But, wait, they contain a lot of fiber, protein and all sorts of vitamins and minerals that are a key for a healthy and fit body.
And the most amazing thing about them is they are low in fat.(5)
If you count your calories intake (definitely, you should), then note that one portion of lentils will get you around 116 calories.
And one thing, we are talking about all kinds of lentils here, so it applies to brown, red, green lentils and all the other types.
Also keep in mind that this pulse is equally beneficial to those who want to maintain their healthy weight as well as who want to lose some.
Before picking the right amount of lentils for you, make sure you know what is good for your diet.
5. Promote colon health
Regular eating of lentils can help lower the risk of colon cancer since they contain soluble fiber.(6)
Apart from that, the pulse contains prebiotics that are essential for our guts.
Lentils are a nutritional treasure for your colon health.
Consuming lentils assures you that you're doing good for your body.
6. Control blood sugar and cholesterol levels
According to a 2008 published study by the ARYA Atherosclerosis Journal, the replacement of as little as 30 grams of bread with the same amount of lentils can do wonders to help you control blood sugar levels.(7)
If you cut kinds of foods that are higher in glycaemic content and introduce more foods that are low in GI (low-glycaemic index), you can be sure you just got healthier.
Along with being a low GI food, lentils are also a great cure for lowering bad cholesterol levels.(8)
If you have diabetes, consult your doctor to make sure you consume the right amount of lentils for you.
Remember, that your diet depends on your health, i.e. what type of diabetes you have, what medication you take, etc.
7. Fight depression
How can a cup of lentils deal with depression you might wonder.
Well, you see, lentils contain B vitamin which plays an important role in your health.
Apart from that, lentils can be a fantastic energy booster since they contain a good amount of iron.
So consider including this pulse into your ration if you want to kick out fatigue and stress from your healthy life.
8. Promote brain health
Of course, we all want our minds to stay sharp and calculative, so everybody looks for ways to maintain our brain in a healthy condition.
Turning out eating lentils is an excellent choice for it.
Because, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron are critical to brain health and they are available in good amounts in lentils.
Also, there are a variety of ways to get the lentils in your diet.
Eat it at least twice a week to fuel your brain and stay on top.
9. Improve metabolism and digestive health
A fit and healthy body has a good digestive health. And for a good digestive health, we need certain minerals and vitamins that are easily available in lentils like thiamine, fiber, iron etc.
Thiamine deficiency can lead to troubles in digesting carbohydrates.(12)
According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, "Zinc has a lot to do with a good digestive health. It promotes the production of digestive enzymes and re-builds the intestinal tissues."(14)
10. Fight inflammation because of selenium
Selenium is a trace element which is nutritionally essential for our life.
And lentils have a good amount of selenium. In fact, a 100 gram serving of cooked or boiled lentils can charge you with 2.8 mcg of selenium. That amount is equivalent to 4% of Daily values.
Dietary selenium protects from inflammation and promotes immunity.(15)
And the good thing is, lentils are the cheapest and easiest way to consume the right amount of selenium and avoid inflammation.
11. Help build muscle
Lentils are not only good for health but also for looks.
If you like to work on your body you should know that lentils are rich in protein and carbohydrates.
You probably already know how good these are for your muscles.(16)
Other advantages of lentils include low price and long shelf life.
And if you are one of those busy people whose schedule include gym, work, dates, travels and other unplanned events. We have good news for you. And that is, lentils take about 5-10 minutes to cook, so it won't take much of your precious time.
Here is a cool five minute lentil soup recipe you can not wait to try.(17)
12. Good for pregnant women
Last but not least, lentils are perfect foods for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
First of all, eating lentils during pregnancy can ensure that the child won't be affected by spina bifida (unhealthy development of the spine).(18)
Remember reading about folate levels above?
Well, pregnant women are recommended to consume 600mcg of folate.(19)
High time for lentils, isn't it?
If you drank or smoke before pregnancy, lentils can help get rid of the harmful effect of those habits.It absorbs all the unhealthy elements you have left in your body.
Proteins that are good for muscles are a must for pregnant women since their bodies need to get stronger to carry the baby.
It's hard to disagree now that lentils are good for your body.
Experiment with it, try to add sauces to it or mix with vegetables to make it more to your liking.
Lentils go with meat as well. Take care of your health and be back for more tips and articles.
Article Updated on 13.01.2018