Health benefits of lentils

Health benefits of lentils

  • Lentils have a nutty, earthy flavor and are a staple in many Asian cuisines. They make a great addition to healthy meals such as salads and soups. These little legumes pack a healthy punch.
  • Let’s look at the health benefits of lentils.
  • Blood sugar regulation:
  • Lentils are great for regulating a healthy blood glucose level. A randomized clinical trial published in the Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice journal showed that participants who had an increased amount of soluble fiber (lentils are rich in soluble fiber) had improved glucose levels.
  • Energy boosters:
  • Because lentils are good at regulating blood sugar, they prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes, maintaining slow burning energy throughout the day. Iron deficiency is a major factor for fatigue and low energy. Lentils are an excellent source of iron, providing 6.6mg per cup, which is 37% of the recommended daily value.
  • Fiber champions:
  • Lentils are champions when it comes to dietary fiber, which is essential for overall optimal health. The great thing about the fiber in lentils is that they have both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in the body, binds with bile and cholesterol, and transports it out of the body. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and moves waste out of the body.
  • One cup of lentils provides an impressive 15.6g of dietary fiber, which is 63% of the recommended daily value.
  • Heart health:
  • Lentils are favorites when it comes to heart health. A large scale study with participants from U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan was conducted for 25 years on the benefits of food patterns and the risk of death from heart disease.
  • The study showed that those who ate legumes over the course of the study had an impressive 82% reduction in the risk of mortality from heart disease. 
  • Protein rich:
  • We usually turn to meat when we need protein, but lentils are actually very rich in protein. They are a great alternative to meat because they provide health benefits that meat cannot. One cup of lentils provides 17.9g of protein, which is 36% of the recommended daily value.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “Proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies,these body proteins are constantly being broken down and replaced. The protein in the foods we eat is digested into amino acids that are later used to replace these proteins in our bodies.”
  • Weight loss:
  • Lentils are fairly low in calories, with 116 for every 100 grams as compared to steak, which contains double the amount in every 100 grams. They are also very low in fat. All of these factors combined with the high dietary fiber levels make lentils a great food for a weight loss diet.
  • For the top healthy protein foods.
  • For the top 10 heart health foods.
  • REFERENCES:
  • 1. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Lentils, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, without Salt.” Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
  • 2. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Beef, Plate, Inside Skirt Steak, Separable Lean Only, Trimmed to 0″ Fat, All Grades, Cooked, Broiled.” Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
  • 3. “Dietary Intake of Folate and Risk of Stroke in US Men and Women.” Stroke.AHAJournals.org. Stroke, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
  • 4. “Food Intake Patterns and 25-year Mortality from Coronary Heart Disease: Cross-cultural Correlations in the Seven Countries Study. The Seven Countries Study Research Group.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
  •  5. “Effect of Soluble Fiber Intake in Lipid and Glucose Levels in Healthy Subjects: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15163472)
  • 6. “Protein.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 04 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

 

 

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