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Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans. Nutty and earthy in flavor, lentils have a high nutritional value that anyone can benefit from by incorporating this healthy legume into their diet. It provides lot of health benefits such as the following.
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Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate, magnesium, protein and reduce bad cholesterol which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Lentils, with their negligible amounts of fat, are an ideal source of protein without adding any extra fat to the body, thereby promoting a healthy heart. Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol, which reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
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Dietary fiber found food such as lentils helps in controlling blood sugar levels, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slows its digestion. Dietary fiber slows down the rate at which food is absorbed by the blood and thus maintains the sugar level constantly. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
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Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentils calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Cooked lentils provide 18 grams of protein per cup, with less than 1 gram of fat, negligible saturated fat and no cholesterol, thus lowering the overall risk diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Protein are necessary for body for proper metabolic functioning, click here to know more
Lentils are a good source of Vitamin B-complex, such as folate or folic acid. Folate supports nervous system health, aids in energy metabolism, plays a key role in maintaining homocysteine levels and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and red blood cells. Deficiency of folate causes cancer, depression, heart disease and age-related vision or hearing loss. It is especially important for pregnant women to include folate-rich foods like lentils in their diets to prevent birth defects.
Iron and folic acid are necessary for metabolic activities of the body, click here to know more
Lentils increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism. Lentils are a good source of many vitamins, including vitamin B3, which plays a significant role in boosting the digestive and nervous systems. Vitamin B3 offers many other benefits, including cholesterol control, a decreased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
Boost your metabolism for energy
Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, and gives the feeling of fullness. Research studies suggest that the regular consumption of lentils can help in weight control and increase satiety.
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Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Particularly for menstruating, lactating women and pregnant women, need extra iron, and lentils is better choice, especially because they are not rich in fat and calories. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron. People who are deficient in iron may develop anemia or neurological problems like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. About 36% of the iron can comes from eating 1 cup (200 grams) of lentils every day.
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Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are the perfect legume to eat in the summer in salads, spreads, for crudité and crackers, and as an item on a vegetarian dinner plate or even other wise.
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