Health Benefits Of Lentils – Nutritional Facts
There are few plant based proteins as nutrient rich and healthy as lentils. Offering an array of essential nutrients such as Iron, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. Lentils not only benefit your health, but are also extremely versatile in cooking and make a great meat substitute. They have been a staple of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine for thousands of years and are believed to be one of the oldest crops to date. Some of the health benefits include maintaining a healthy heart, good digestion and they stabilise blood sugar fluctuations that if left unchecked, can lead to diabetes. So far, so awesome.
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.
1. Lower Cholesterol
Lentils provide around 9g per 100g of cooked lentils. Due to the high levels of healthy fibre this helps in reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol found in the blood. It is this bad cholesterol, that can lead to many health problems including heart disease and stroke. They help keep your arteries clean, preventing blockages that lead to cardiac arrest.
2. Stabilise Blood Sugar
The soluble fibre in lentils helps halt slow down digestion to an even pace. This evens out the spikes in blood sugar absorption in the body, which can be helpful for those with diabetes and hypoglycaemia.
3. Good Heart Health
Lentils are a perfect source of folate and magnesium, which are big players in heart health. Folate lowers the homocysteine levels in the body, which is a major factor for heart disease. Whilst magnesium improves the blood flow and oxygen in the body. Low levels of magnesium can have major health impacts which have been directly associated with heart disease.
4. Healthy Protein
It’s no surprise that lentils are a staple for vegans and vegetarians. The high protein content accounts for 26 percent of calories found in this legume. They contain an impressive 18 grams of lean protein per cup serving. Making them the perfect substitute for those who avoid eating animal products. They also contain minerals and vitamins found in meat such as iron and vitamin B, both often lacking in an unbalanced vegan diet.
5. Immune System Support
Diets that are high in fibre have been shown to have lower instances of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and digestive issues. The fibre in lentils acts as a prebiotic that helps improve gut health. A healthy digestive system makes it less susceptible to toxins and damage from free radicals. In addition, the levels of minerals such as zinc and manganese help maintain a strong immune system.
6. Weight Loss
Lentils are beneficial for a weight-loss diet due to their high protein/low calories. They are high in fiber, low in fat and provide a whole host of nutrients. This helps keep you full for longer, which in turn controls your calorie intake. Check the wholesome soup recipe underneath, to up your intake of legumes.
Check this awesome Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe
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