Health Benefits of Lentils

lentils, lentil, health, healthy, low calorie, diet, heart, heart health, heart healthy, weight loss, fiber, protein, folate, magnesium, vitamins, heart diseaseLentils are a great low-calorie food full of vitamins and nutrients creating benefits for the entire body.

One cup of cooked lentils has only 230 calories, plus they are low in fat and provide a filling snack for anyone trying to lose weight. Lentils provide a good source of fiber and protein. They contain high levels of protein, 26 percent of lentil’s calories, and they are a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get the recommended amount of protein in their diet.

Lentils are also a heart healthy food. Studies have shown that eating foods high in fiber, like lentils, can reduce a person’s risk for heart disease. Lentils also provide a great source of folate and magnesium, which are two key vitamins that can help lower a person’s risk for heart disease. Folate helps to lower homocysteine levels, which is a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves the flow of oxygen and nutrients in the blood stream carrying these throughout the body.

Lentils also provide digestive health. They contain insoluble dietary fiber, which helps prevent constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, two possible risk factors for hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer.

Adding more fiber to one’s diet can help stabilize blood sugar for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. The fiber in foods such as lentils block carbohydrates and slows down digestion making it easier for the body to even out blood sugar.

Lentils can also provide a slow-burning energy for the body due to their fiber and complex carbohydrates. They are a good source of iron, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body producing more energy and boosting metabolism (Source: Mind Body Green).

Recipe:

Beluga Lentils with Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Golden Raisins and Greek Yogurt

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