In the Middle East and India, lentils have been a diet staple for thousands of years. Today, they’re consumed all over the world as a nutrient-dense food filled with plant-based protein. Lentil nutrition includes a significant amount of protein and fiber, along with folate, manganese, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Lentils health benefits include the ability to protect the heart, improve digestive health, lower blood pressure and more. They may be an especially beneficial source of nutrients for vegans and vegetarians, to help prevent an iron deficiency and a magnesium deficiency.
Lentils Health Benefits
1. Provide the Body with Fiber
Lentils health benefits include a healthy source of fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps improve digestion and immune function by promoting the detox of waste and toxins from the body.
2. Protect the Heart
Lentils nutrition includes potassium, folate and magnesium, which work together to protect the heart from disease. Folate helps lower homocysteine levels to reduce the risk of heart disease, while magnesium and potassium work to improve circulation. Lentils health benefits include the ability to naturally lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. (1)
3. Improve Digestive Health
Lentils health benefits include improved digestive health. The fiber that lentils contain help promote regular bowel movements to reduce digestive problems, including constipation, bloating and IBS. Lentils health benefits also include the ability to help prevent diverticulitis and diarrhea. (2)
4. Help Alkalize the Body
Lentils are an alkaline protein source, which means they can help balance the body’s pH levels. Lentil nutrition works to promote gut health and reduce acidity that can cause health problems. A healthy gut plays an important role in preventing indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems.
5. Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Lentils health benefits include the ability to naturally manage blood sugar levels, thanks to the soluble fiber they contain. The fiber works to slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar. Lentils nutrition allow them to be a healthy part of a diabetic diet. By stabilizing blood sugar levels, lentils can also help prevent dips in energy, mood changes and diabetes. (3)
6. Provide the Body with Plant-Based Protein
Lentil nutrition includes a healthy source of plant-based protein. One cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein. They rank third for the highest protein levels of any legume or nut, just behind soybeans and hemp seeds. Lentils health benefits may be especially beneficial for vegans and vegetarians who may be missing iron and B vitamins. Deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to adrenal fatigue, mood swings and other unwanted symptoms.
7. Aid in Weight Loss
Lentils health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. They are high in protein and fiber, but low in calories. Adding lentils to your diet can help you feel filler longer, reduce cravings and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. (4)
8. Boost Immunity
Lentils health benefits include the ability to naturally boost the immune system, thanks to lentil nutrition. Diets high in fiber help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, digestive disorders and even cancer. The fiber in lentils also helps detoxify the body to promote a healthy gut.