Did you notice that your own grocery bill is growing out of your control because of the cost of meat? Then maybe it is the time that you think about making yourself some meals that are meatless. Legumes like the lentils are not only cheap, they are also good sources of protein like in meats. Not just that, they are also free of any fat, rich in many essential nutrients, and is high in fiber. If you add lentils to your diet plan, it may offer you a lot of health benefits. In fact, the health benefits of lentils are essential in helping you control your own weight to be able to promote a healthy heart. This isn’t the only health benefits lentils have, read on to know more.
What are Lentils?
The lentils are the edible seeds or pulses that are actually part of the legumes family. These legumes most commonly comprise of two splits that are covered in a husk. Both of the seeds are in lens shape, which probably is the reason why it is termed in Latin –Lens culinaris. Furthermore, the lentils are also one of the oldest sources of food in the world. In fact, it can be traced back to more than 9000 years.
Moreover, lentils may be consumed with or without its husk. In advance of the invention of the milling machines, they were actually eaten with their husk intact. In fact, the husk of the lentils has the highest amount of dietary fiber. After the milling process was developed, the husk or the skin of the lentils was detached and then the dietary fiber in it may disappear.
The most popular kinds of lentils include the red lentils, yellow lentils, mung beans, and many more varieties. Each of the countries has their own native group of lentils. These groups of lentils are quite similar in appearance, as well as in benefits. Those that have high protein levels are actually considered to be a cheap supply of protein. Furthermore, they are also the ones that are a good source of essential amino acids like lysine and isoleucine. Moreover, they are also a good source of micronutrients like minerals and vitamins.
In the Asian countries is where lentils are much more often being consumed, particularly in India. Actually, India has the largest vegetarians and lentils may be a good substitute for meat. One way to have lentils is when they just sprouted. This is since they contain cysteine and methionine. These two are essential for the muscle-building, and strengthening of the body.
Nutritional Facts of Lentils
The health benefits of lentils are all because of the nutrients that are present in it.
100 grams of lentils may contain the following:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||1.06 grams||5%|
|Dietary Fiber||10.7 grams||28%|
|Pantothenic acid||2.140 milligrams||43%|
Health Benefits of Lentils
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of lentils:
- Helps in improving electrolytic activity: the potassium content of lentils are better substitute for the body’s electrolytic activity instead of sodium. Aside from it acts as an electrolyte, it is also beneficial in the operation of the different organs in the body, just like the kidney, the heart, and the brain.
- High levels of iron: there is a high level of iron in lentils. This is important for the optimum production of hemoglobin.
- Makes the nervous system healthy: the micronutrients in the lentils are essential for the proper functioning of the brain.
- Aids in the weight management: there are various research studies that suggest, the regular consumption of lentils may help in controlling the weight and increasing the satiety.
- It is a good source of folic acid: the vitamin B complex in lentils, like folic acid and folate are in good levels. If you are a pregnant woman and you consume lentils, it may help you in preventing birth defects.
- Helps in preventing cancer: studies show that the lectins, a plant protein may help in causing apoptosis and cytotoxicity. This means that they have the potential for controlling the cancer growth. This is one of the best health benefits of lentils.
- Prevents atherosclerosis: research shows that the consumption of this type of legumes may provide a sufficient supply of antioxidants. Which may help in reducing the chances of the development of atherosclerosis. Moreover, these particular antioxidant properties are also essential in neutralizing the free radicals, thus preventing gene and cell damage.
- Good for the heart health: the negligible amount of fat on lentils, are the good home of protein even without adding any extra fat unto the body. Thus promoting a healthy heart status.