When it comes to nutrition, lentils are considered powerhouses. They are a good source of several nutrients that are good for the body. Medical experts and health organizations promote eating foods like lentils that are rich in vitamins and minerals as doing so can help reduce the risk of developing several serious problems.
So why should you eat more lentils? Here are the top reasons why:
Adding just one cup of lentils to your diet can give you 16g of dietary fiber, which is equivalent to 63% of the recommended daily allowance on a 2000-calorie diet. This type of legumes contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, giving you plenty of benefits including:
- Regulating bowel movements
- Decreasing risk of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, esophageal, and throat
- Promoting health of the digestive system
Fiber-rich foods are also said to be effective in preventing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension.
Believe it or not, these beans also have protein just like animal meat. Cooked lentils can give you as much as 18g of protein for every cup served. Alongside protein, lentils also have less than one gram of fat and very small amounts of saturated fat. They don’t have cholesterol unlike animal meat. Substituting lentils for red meat can help you avoid cancer and heart disease among others. Note, however, that lentils don’t have all the required amino acids for creating complete protein. In this case, you have to eat grains, such as whole wheat bread and rice for protein synthesis.
Folate and Magnesium
Whether or not you are at risk of developing heart diseases, you can protect your heart with the help of eating more lentils. As mentioned, lentils have soluble fiber, but aside from that, they also contain magnesium and folate. The combination helps in reducing chances of getting a heart attack. Folate and magnesium are both required by the body to be fully healthy:
- Folate: Helps in protecting the artery walls and reducing heart disease risk
- Magnesium: Increases body’s resistance against diseases, while improving the flow of oxygen, nutrients, and blood throughout the body.
Studies also show that those who don’t have enough magnesium in their body can have a high chance of dying from a heart attack.
Lentils are among the commonly consumed types of legumes throughout history. They are also easy to prepare, unlike other beans, which you need to soak in water for long hours. While some people note that they experience bloating and some discomfort after eating lentils, these are trivial side effects that are easily outweighed by their long-term benefits.