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Fascinating Health Benefits of Lentils
Lentils are immensely popular dried beans that easily absorb flavors from other ingredients in recipes. This property makes these legumes a wonderful and delicious addition to cold lads and hot soups, and they come in a wide variety of interesting colors (ranging from black to green). More importantly, it turns out that they are also extremely good for your health. They are packed full of important nutrients that can improve your body’s vital functions and aid in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Read on to discover the five most interesting reasons why adding more lentils to your diet will improve and extend your life.
1) They can improve your metabolic rate
A cup of lentils contains almost 50% of your recommended daily intake of manganese, and this is excellent news if you are trying to lose weight. Manganese helps your thyroid to work more effectively, promoting processes that boost your metabolism and lead your body to bum more calories at a faster rate. When you burn more calories, it is easier to shed excess weight and easier to avoid putting on unwanted weight.
2) They help to keep your bones strong
Just one serving of lentils provides you with close to 90% of your recommended daily intake of folate. This promotes musculoskeletal health, as research on osteoporosis has shown that people with a low folate intake are much more likely to develop brittle bones. This is thought to be because a lack of folate leads to having too much homocysteine in your body. This particular amino acid appears to dramatically increase your likelihood of suffering from bone fractures
3) They can improve your cardiovascular health
Firstly, just one serving of lentils contains almost 63% of your recommended daily intake of fiber, and studies on heart health have shown that people who have a high intake of fiber are much less likely to develop heart disease. This may be because soluble fiber lowers cholesterol by binding to it (so that it is removed from the body as waste). Secondly, a serving of lentils also contains over 20% of your recommended daily intake of potassium, which helps to keep your blood pressure under control and promotes a healthy, regular heart rate.
4) They reduce your risk of developing certain forms of cancer
Scientists in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health have discovered that lentils can reduce a woman’s risk of developing any form of breast cancer. It is theorized that this reduction in cancer risk owes to the fact that lentils are rich in flavones, which are powerful antioxidants Studies also show that the folate in lentils helps to protect you against cancers of the lung, stomach, uterus and cervix.
5) They are good for people with anemia
Lentils are extremely rich in iron, so they can help people suffering from anemia (who have problematically low iron levels). This benefit of eating lentils may be especially relevant to post-menopausal women, as the menopause tends to leave the female body slightly weaker and more in need of iron.