When it comes to picking something highly nutritious yet absolutely fat-free for your regular diet, lentils should always top the list. Packed with all the goodness of fibers, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, this potent member of the legume family can help you get healthy in a number of ways. Let us explore:
1. Provide Enough Dietary Fibers
Lentils are one of the biggest sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. Soluble fibers are known to promote bile secretion within our digestive tract and keep the entire process of digestion going smooth, while insoluble fibers play a pivotal role in stool formation and help up stay away from a number of digestive disorders.
2. Act as Protein Powerhouse Foods
Among all protein-rich vegetable items, lentils are placed in the third position while legumes and nuts are ranked first and second respectively. Several studies have found that about 26% of the total calorie content of lentils comes from proteins. Hence, they are considered as protein powerhouse foods by the vegetarians.
3. Take Care of Cardiovascular Health
Being rich in dietary fibers, lentils are very beneficial for our heart as well as entire cardiovascular system. It has been proved that daily intake of 5 grams of fibers, especially the water-soluble ones, can reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart diseases by 10% and 15% respectively. On the other hand, the levels of vitamin B9 (also known as ‘folic acid’ or ‘folate’) and magnesium present in lentils are also significantly high, which eventually leads to a healthy heart.
4. Keep Cholesterol Level Low
The soluble fiber content of lentils is also capable of regulating the levels of cholesterol present in our bloodstream. They basically work on the ‘bad cholesterol’ or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and keep their amount under control in our body. As a result, our blood vessels remain clean, blood flow becomes regular and chances of developing fatal diseases like heart attack, stroke, etc, go down.
5. Make Blood Sugar Level Stable
Lentils are extremely advantageous for patients of diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, etc. and the reason behind it is once again the soluble fibers. Researchers have shown that the consumption of more or less 50 grams of fibers a day can stabilize both plasma glucose as well as insulin hormone in our blood by trapping carbohydrates and slowing down the digestion procedure.
6. Boost Energy Significantly
While making the level of blood sugar stable, lentils also release steady, slow-burning energy within our body. They are full of iron which, being an indispensable part of hemoglobin, carries oxygen all through our body, plays a key role in producing energy and helps in faster metabolism.
7. Keep Digestive Disorders at Bay
As said previously, lentils contain adequate amount of insoluble dietary fibers. They are essential for maintaining bowel regularity as well as averting problems like constipation. By including lentils in your daily diet, you can also ward off a number of severe digestive disorders, such as diverticulitis, spastic colon or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), etc.
8. Promote Fat or Weight Loss
One of the most positive things about lentils is that they are fat-free and contain very low calorie. Only 230 calories are present in a cup of cooked lentils, which is great for stimulating fat loss and getting rid of unnecessary body weight. At the same time, they can provide almost all essential nutrients to keep us full for the whole day.
9. Great Source of Folate in Pregnancy
We have already mentioned that lentils are rich in folate or folic acid, which is crucial for pregnant women for avoiding birth defects in newborns. Every adult person needs minimum 400 mcg. per day, while women requires more or less 600 mcg. folate every day during pregnancy. As a cup of cooked lentils holds 358 mcg. of folate, they can easily fulfill their daily requirements of folate from these.
10. Put a Stop to Chronic Diseases
Lentils are also very much effective in diminishing the chances of developing chronic diseases. Regular intake of 1 cup of lentils can check diseases like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, and so on.
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