8 important reasons to eat lentils
Lentils, which is one of the basic foods, is one of the healthy foods consumed in many world cuisines for many years. There are many reasons to consume lentils, whose health benefits are endless. You can also sweeten your tables with healthy and delicious recipes.
1. PROTECTS THE HEART
Including lentils in your diet can prevent heart disease. Studies have linked them to an overall lower risk of heart disease. One such study, conducted in approximately 248 overweight people for 8 weeks, found that eating a third cup (60 grams) of lentils each day increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and significantly reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, lentils can lower your blood pressure. One study revealed that rats that ate lentils had greater reductions in blood pressure, as opposed to rats that were given peas, chickpeas or beans. In addition, the proteins in lentils can block a substance in the body called angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE), which normally triggers blood vessel constriction, thereby increasing your blood pressure.
Finally, being overweight or obese also increases your risk of heart disease. But because lentils are so filling, they lower your overall calorie intake and keep your heart healthy.
2. LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
If you’re trying to manage your blood sugar levels, the polyphenols in lentils may be helpful. One study found that consuming lentils regularly lowered blood sugar. While researchers are confident that this benefit is due solely to the carbohydrate, protein, or fat content in lentils, and indeed the polyphenols (antioxidants) in them, the exact mechanism behind this is unclear.
3. HELPS DIGESTION
If you have a weak stomach and are constantly experiencing digestive issues, adding lentils to your diet can help. One cup offers 15.6 g of fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and makes it easier to pass. 16 In doing so, it prevents constipation and keeps your bowel movements regular.
4. PREVENT PREGNANCY-RELATED COMPLICATIONS
Folate is an important nutrient for pregnant women. It is considered critical to avoid congenital disabilities. In fact, keeping up with the required folate intake has been shown to reduce the chance of preterm birth by 50% or more if consumed at least one year before pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day during their childbearing years, and one cup of lentils provides almost 90% of a day’s folate requirement.
5. IT IS A GOOD SOURCE OF PROTEIN
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, as well as making enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is also the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Keeping up with it is therefore necessary. One cup of lentils provides 17.86 g of macronutrients. This makes it a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. However, it is important to note that lentils do not have all 9 amino acids to make them a complete protein like meat and eggs.
6. SUPPORTS THYROID HEALTH
If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid disorders, stock up on lentils. A one-cup serving offers 0.978 mg of manganese, which is 19.56% of your recommended daily intake. This nutrient helps enzymes work and function properly in your body. It also plays a role in the production of thyroxine, a vital hormone necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and helping you maintain your appetite, metabolism, weight and organ efficiency. Adding lentils to your diet can help you manage your thyroid hormones.
7. MAY REDUCE SAMPLES OF EPILEPTIC SEIZURE
The leading cause of epilepsy in adults over 35 is stroke, which is caused by reduced blood flow to your brain. Manganese is known to dilate vessels and efficiently transport blood to tissues such as the brain, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and epileptic seizures. In addition, some of the body’s manganese content is found in the brain, and there are several studies suggesting that manganese levels may be lower in individuals with seizure disorders. Therefore, lentils can help reduce the incidence of stroke and seizures.
8. MAY PREVENT CANCER
Including lentils in your diet can reduce the risk of developing cancer. They are rich in polyphenols (antioxidants) such as procyanidin and flavanols, which are known to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. One study found that lentils inhibit the production of cyclooxygenase-2, the molecule that promotes inflammation. In addition, when tested in a lab, the polyphenols in lentils were observed to slow cancer cell growth, particularly in cancerous skin cells.