Lentils are humble legumes that are low in calories, high in protein and contain more than their weight in health benefits. They help to lower cholesterol, improve weight loss, promote heart health and build strong, lean muscles filled with natural energy.
They are sold dried, canned and fresh, making them available for all-year-round consumption. Here are 12 proven health benefits of lentils:
1..They Are High In Protein
Our muscles need protein, or more particularly amino acids in order to be strong and supple, and lentils are packed full of protein-powered amino acids that help to build and repair muscle tissue. Being a plant based source of protein means that it is more readily absorbed, offering immediate power to hungry muscles.
2. They Are Fully Loaded with Iron
Just one cup of lentils offers up to 36% of your daily requirement for iron, making these delicious legumes an important inclusion for sufferers of anemia, fatigue and blood disorders. Iron helps to increase red blood cell function, which further oxygenates your entire body.
3. They Are High In Dietary Fiber
One hundred grams or less than a quarter of a can of lentils contains 32% of your daily dose of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which is essential for digestive health. By eating sufficient fiber you help to keep your bowel movements regular, eliminate toxins and offer your arteries a cleanse from excess plaque and cholesterol.
4. They are Low in Carbohydrates
Lentils are a low carb, high protein and high energy power-food, perfect as a snack or cooked into a main meal. Each serving contains only 6% carbohydrates, which makes it the perfect low GI snack on any eating plan.
5. They Help to Balance Blood Sugar Levels
Being relatively high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and high in protein makes lentils the perfect source of nutrition for diabetics, anemic patients and those suffering from disrupted blood sugar levels. Even adding lentils to your favorite dish will help to combat any blood sugar dips and spikes, keeping you and your liver healthy and happy.
6. They Help to Reduce Stress
Chronic stress can be detrimental to nerve health, and can degrade your body’s magnesium and potassium stores to a dangerous level. Lentils offer a great dose of both minerals, which help to calm nerves, reduce anxiety and promote a healthy brain and heart. Just one cup a few times a week, or daily if required, can make all the difference.
7. They Improve Heart Health
The combination of soluble dietary fiber and high doses of magnesium make lentils an excellent choice in maintaining cardiovascular health, as they work together to keep arteries clean, supple and relaxed. A diet rich in fiber and natural magnesium has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and preventing heart attacks.
8. They Are Extremely Alkalizing
It’s not often that foods rich in protein have anything but an acidic effect on your body, but lentils do just the opposite. They have been shown to have a tremendously healthy alkalizing effect on your body, which helps to prevent diseases and fatigue, leaving you feeling strong and healthy in each tasty bite.
9. They Are Low in Fat
Containing zero cholesterol and only traces of healthy fat makes lentils a wonderful food source for maintaining a healthier and slimmer figure. By eating lentils instead of other salty, protein based foods you will be reducing cholesterol intake, sodium intake and total fat intake, which can have a dramatic and positive effect on your health and appearance.
10. They Keep Your Bones Healthy
Each serving of this little bean contains a good percentage of calcium, which is excellent in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. The alkaline power of lentils also supports calcium absorption, which has been shown to improve the longevity of your entire skeletal system.