Health benefits of Lentils, nutrition value and side effects

If you want an easy to cook, tasty, and healthful food item, you do not have to look far. Lentils are a staple food item in many kitchens in India for the very same reasons. Not many bother about the nutritional value though it is one of the best in all classes of food. We have red, yellow, green, brown and french lentils.

Top 12 health benefits of green, yellow and red Lentils

Lentils health benefits, nutrition facts and side effects

Good for the digestion

You can eat green lentils with the husk. The husk contains 80% of the fibre. It improves the bowel movement and counters constipation. It balances the diet by contributing one of the three ingredients, proteins. A good, balanced diet helps improve the metabolic rate. Thus, the digestion becomes augmented. Find constipation treatment for adults at home.

Fights incidence of cancer

In studies conducted at the University of Illinois, they researched the action of the lectins. The lectins are a separate type of proteins that we get from foods such as peanuts, wheat, and lentils. These lectins influence the cancer cells to a great extent. Lectins have the property of creating apoptosis and cytotoxicity, which causes the cancer cells to die.

Improves the nervous system

For a long time, no one thought that the micronutrients had any effect on the functioning of the brain. Now, it has been established that we need vitamins and nutrients for the proper functioning of the brain. Red Lentils, according to one research, showed good action in assisting brain activity. This is because lentils have plenty of micronutrients.

Helps generate muscles

The tissues of the human body are in constant need of proteins, which are the basic ingredients for building them. Lentils specially chickpeas contain all the essential amino acids needed for the growth of the muscles and the tissues. It helps keep the body metabolism functioning normally. Have one cup of lentil soup everyday.

Augments the heart health

Since the lentils have minimal fat content, they are ideally suited for maintaining the heart health. The magnesium in the lentils helps augment the heart health by relaxing the heart muscles and lowering the blood pressure. This helps the heart to remain healthy. Eat lentils every day and keep your heart healthy.

High levels of folic acid

You find plenty of B-vitamins such as folate in lentils. Pregnant women need folic acid so that birth defects in the child are prevented. The folic acid helps in the formation of red blood cells. This helps maintain the homocysteine levels. It shows proven effect against hypertension and DNA damage. This type of damage may cause cancer. Be sure to give the pregnant woman green & red lentils daily. This will augment her health wonderfully.

Good iron content

Red Lentils are packed with iron that the body needs for haemoglobin production. If you consume 1 cup of proteins every day, you get more than one-third of the needed iron you need in a day.

Controls diabetes

Dietary fiber is largest in the legume family. Lentils and peas belong to the legume family. You can control high sugar levels by including dietary fiber in the diet. The fiber acts by slowing the rate of absorption of the sugar from the blood. If you have high sugar levels, include lentils and bring the sugar levels under control.

Blocks atherosclerosis

Research conducted at the Department of Cereal and Food Sciences in North Dakota that eating lentils daily helped to prevent the incidence of atherosclerosis. This was due to the action of the antioxidants the research showed. The antioxidants neutralized the free radicals and prevented damage to the cell and gene. Atherosclerosis is the plaque build-up in the walls of the blood vessels leading to narrowing of the blood vessel. Through the action of the antioxidants, the free radicals that formed the plaque were removed. This made the blood vessels free of any obstruction.

Helps with weight management

We have proven evidence to show that people who eat lentils regularly have no problems managing their weight. Excess weight build-up is seen more in people who ate meat and poultry products regularly. The weight build-up was due to the saturated fats present in the meat items. By staying off the meat, one is able to stop the fat build up, which makes one to gain weight. Lentils provide satiation fast making one to eat less. One can add lentils to the salads and the dishes one cooks. This will help increase the calorie content without increasing the fat or carbohydrate levels in the food. Obese people will benefit by switching to a lentil diet since this will provide the needed nutrients without increasing the calories.

Improves electrolyte activity

You have good amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, zinc, and Vitamin K. It also has lean protein, iron, and folate. The best thing is that lentils contain potassium. This supplements the electrolyte content needed for the functioning of the kidney, brain, heart, and takes part in the electrolyte activity.

Improves metabolism

The vitamins and the minerals present in lentils are needed for the efficient functioning of the metabolism. This happens due to the iron content in the lentils that transports oxygen throughout the body. It boosts the energy production and augments the metabolism. Lentils are one of the natural ways of revving up your internal mechanism.

Lentils side effects

  • Increased risk of kidney disease: Eating too much of lentils can put pressure on the kidneys. One must eat only 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. When this amount is exceeded, it forces the kidneys to excrete the proteins. If you do this too often, the kidney function will begin to fail.
  • More formation of gas: Once the lentils enter the digestive system, they begin to ferment. This results in gas formation. You start passing gas if you have too much lentils.
  • Kidney stones might form: This happens due to the high amounts of oxalate compounds in the lentils. The oxalate compounds make kidney stones to form. If you already have kidney stones, you should avoid legume and lentils.

Lentils Nutrition Facts

 Lentils, boiled

Amount Per

100 grams

Calories 116
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 369 mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 20 g 6%
Dietary fiber 8 g 32%
Sugar 1.8 g
Protein 9 g 18%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1% Iron 18%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 10%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 9%

Choose the nutty and earthy flavored lentils and be assured of a nutritious meal. This healthy legume is dependable and filling. Keep some always at hand.

References

  1. Medical News Today Lentils: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
  1. Healthy Living What Are the Benefits of Eating Lentils? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/
  1. 7 Health Benefits of Lentils https://www.mindbodygreen.com/

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