Table of Contents
15 Nutritional and Health Benefits of Lentils.
1. Women’s Health :
When you think of iron rich foods, red meat is one of options that clicks in your mind. But, lentils make a great alternative for read meat, and for that purpose, lentils should be added in Women’s daily diet. While red meat definitely leads the way in iron, lentils are no less. Nearly 50% of the daily iron requirement is carried by Lentils. That’s a good thing because iron deficiency is the biggest nutrient related condition in the whole world. Women need iron to maintain their menstrual health and have healthy pregnancy. Also, lentils are comprised of Vitamins B- like Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (B2), Pantothenic acid (B5), the Cobalamins (B12) and many more. Therefore, it is a great source of vitamins and proteins for vegans and vegetarians.
2. Lowers Cholesterol :
A growing consent concludes that daily legume consumption reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol. As lentils are high in soluble fibre, it keeps a watch in preventing higher cholesterol. Lentils posses over half the daily copper need. Copper counteracts the enzyme HMG-CoA reductant, the enzyme targeted by cholesterol medications. To have a tasty yet healthy lentil consumption, you can some of the recipes like Vegetable Lentil Soup or Lentils seekh kebab for vegetarians. These dishes will be rich in Vitamins as well as filled with fibres because it is made with onions, garlic, tomatoes which are good for your cardiovascular health.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar:
Well, if you are one of the millions of Americans has a disability type 2 diabetes, you need to start consuming lentils. Is your blood sugar level fluctuating? Here’s a way you can help yourself. Legumes high in soluble fiber like lentils can help stabilize blood sugar by lowering plasma glucose and insulin. Lentils are also low on the glycemic index, which means they digest slowly without causing blood sugar to heighten up. So eat a cup of lentils or other legumes a day to lower hemoglobin A1C levels. Also, opt for diabetes friendly foods to avoid our sugar level to rise. Lentils are rich in phytochemical, like all the other pulses, which are also a type of legume. Therefore, they can help you with the risk of cancer also prevent the risk of blood sugar level to rise.
4. Facilitates Weight Loss :
An agey question for vegetarians is “How do I get a full stomach without bolting over starches?” Well, vegetables- heavy cuisines, like Indian cuisines, choose lentils to do the trick. A 1 cup of serving contain just 230 calories which holds 63% of your daily fiber and high amount of protein, both of which helps you keep feeling full for a long time. So eat a flavorful dish of lentils if you want to feel full and keep up portion control. Add a cup of cooked lentils to your salad, make a side dish with well seasoning, prepare a soup and add lentils. These will just help you in keeping your tummy full for a long time and help you in weight loss as it will a fibre-rich and protein-rich dish with no remarks of fats contained.
5. Supports Brain Health :
No food has more folate than Lentils, which deliver 90% of your daily requirement in just a single serving which is a really good thing. Folate is a complex B Vitamin that is a key nutrient in human health. Folate deficiency can lead to birth defect blood disorders. Meanwhile, folate supports production of neurotransmitters, which are Serotonin and Dopamine, which are the co-factors of essential minerals and vitamins. So, if a deficiency of neurotransmitters is found, a person can suffer with altered mood states and can feel a mental breakdown. Therefore, to keep yourself in a good state of mind, keep the cofactors happy and lentils which are filled with fibres, vitamins and proteins can help you in doing that. Also, lentils offer a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose, a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber content of lentils is a major component in keeping your brain in controlled shape.
6. Digestive Health:
Lentils can assist you while you have a jammed stomach. Try adding lentils in your diet. Since lentils are rich in dietary fiber, they are known to clean up your digestive system. Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. And since lentils are a great option to improve digestive health, and keeping healthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar levels, it’s no wonder they help to strengthen your immune system. Iron, manganese, folate, zinc, and fiber are all needed for a strong immune system. a good digestive health also leads to improve your facial skin and gives you lightening glow on face.
7. Prevents Cancer:
Well, yes! You don’t have to cure Cancer, if you can prevent it. a study have found that a separate type of plant protein originating from foods like lentils, wheat, peanuts, peas, and soybeans, known as plant lectins, have a great impact on cancer cells. Research studies have shown that these lectins cause cytotoxicity and apoptosis, which means that they have a great potential to control the growth of cancer. Consuming at least two servings of lentils per week was associated with a 24% reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those who ate lentils less than once a month. Lentils are protective against colorectal, breast, lung and prostate cancers. Also, as they are anti-inflammatory, it prevents in gas-related problems in the body.
8. Improves Electrolytic Activity :
Electrolytes perform so many vital functions in the human body that if we lose too much of one or all electrolytes we will probably die and if there is a buildup of any one electrolyte it will seriously disturb the normal function of the body. Potassium, an essential dietary mineral and electrolyte that maintains the balance of fluids in the body, is one of the many minerals found in lentils, and is regarded as a better substitute for electrolytic activity than sodium. Nowadays, many diseases have been detected with a high sodium content and a low potassium content in the body. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, potassium is also helpful for the functioning of a number of organs like the heart, brain, and kidney.
9. Nervous System :
It was long believed that micronutrients like vitamins and minerals did not have an impact on the functioning of the brain. However the research suggested that from the proper functioning of the brain, vitamins and minerals are equally important. As said earlier, Potassium in lentils is a great source, it becomes an important health nutrient that is proven helpful for reducing the risk of kidney stones and increasing bone-beneficial calcium resulting in better health of nervous system.
10. Supports Heart Health :
Lentils, with their nearly zero amounts of fat, are an ideal source of protein without adding any extra fat to the body, thereby promoting a healthy heart. Lentils contain magnesium, which aids in relaxing cardiovascular muscles and heart rhythm steady. Magnesium, according to the studies, is required to activate over 300 enzyme reactions in our body on a daily basis. And since, lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium. Lentils are primary food to keep your heart healthy. High homocysteine levels are a risk factor for heart disease and folate in lentils helps to lower it. Magnesium improves blood flow by relaxing cardiovascular muscles helping in lowering down the blood pressure and increases oxygen flow through the body.
11. Helps in Muscle Generation :
Our organs and muscles need a continuous supply of protein for repair and growth of the body. Lentils, especially sprouted lentils, contains all the essential Amino Acid that are needed in our body for good muscle growth and strength for smooth-functioning of our body. For the inner growth and repair of the body, that is, the organs and muscles are regulated to normal supply of proteins. Consuming lentils can supply this source of protein and amino acids to ensure the proper body function is achieved. Lentils are a slow-burning, steady source of energy because of the complex carbohydrate and fiber content. Plus, this type of legume is a reliable source of iron (about 36.9% of the daily requirement) to help promote the metabolism, giving energy to function well, and help muscles use and store oxygen — more oxygen means more energy to use.
12. Rich in Fiber :
A high-fiber diet is protective against weight gain. High-fiber foods tend to have a lower energy density, which means they provide fewer calories per gram of food. As a result, a person on a high-fiber diet can consume the same amount of food, but with fewer calories. A ½ cup of lentils has about 8 grams of dietary fiber, which can help to reach the daily recommended amount of 25-30 grams. Fiber-rich ingredients are a solid base to create healthy meals to lose weight because of its ability to suppress your appetite. Lentils containing highest amount of fiber in grams are boiled Split-peas with 16.3 grams per cup of serving. Eating the proper fiber intake can help to decrease the daily calories consumed by about 10%. Lentils are a very good source of fibers, molybdenum and folate, which are in turn, excellent source of dietary fiber.
13. Improves Metabolism :
People with daily intake of lentils are less likely to develop a condition of metabolic syndrome, in which obesity, heart diseases and insulin resistance are at high rates. If consumed daily, lentils can help solve this condition to develop with 75%. Eat enough of lentils to lose weight as it will cut calories and will eventually boost your metabolism rate. Lentils has a way to fight fats with it in built fibres which also in turn rises up the metabolism energy. Improved metabolism rate can lead you in lowering down the risk of few diseases like diabetes, obesity, inflammation and cancer.
14. Rich in Iron :
Legumes are a food group naturally high in iron. The best form of ingesting iron in your body is through lentils. There is no better source of iron in the food taken up by vegans or vegetarians. Only a one cup of cooked lentils contains up to 7% iron. In creating energy from nutrients, iron is the best supplement to be taken in. Iron also synchronise the actions taken in the different parts of body. In case, if you feel that there’s too much iron in your body, no worries! It’s only being stored in your body for future use.
15. Strengthens Blood Circulation :
Studies show that millions of Americans suffer from poor circulation, and that’s only one country! Imagine half the world with circulation problems. Poor blood circulation is when block-up occurs in the arteries and it becomes difficult for blood to flow freely through your body. It can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable as well as very dangerous to your health. In the most serious cases, it can even result in amputation and death. In order to protect yourself from developing poor circulation, doctors recommend that people should stop smoking, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Lentils are low fat and sodium, high fiber and protein and contains folate which makes them a good addition to an anti-poor circulation diet.
There are three most common types of lentil. Brown, green and red. Each of these have a slightly different taste and texture but are cooked the same way and yield the same nutritional values. Find out which suits your taste better and start including Lentils in your diet to have a healthy diet and perfect health.