Not surprisingly, lentils are one of the oldest cultivated legumes and are now a staple in our diet. They provide a lot of fiber and protein. They don’t need to soak overnight before cooking. Lentils are a popular source of high-quality protein since they are convenient and inexpensive.
The colors of lentils range from red, green, yellow, brown, and black. Lentils are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Health benefits of lentils
Having been farmed ever since the beginning of agriculture, lentils have been a staple of our food for a very long period of time. They give a wide range of health benefits, including the following ones:
Digestive and gut health
As a bulking agent for the digestive system and a sensation of fullness, fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. As a result of their high fiber content, lentils contribute to a healthy digestive system and a slimmer figure. Constipation and other digestive issues like IBS and diverticulosis can be prevented by the insoluble dietary fiber included in them.
Polyphenols, which are found in lentils, are an excellent source of nutrition. These are a collection of phytochemicals that are beneficial to health. There are numerous bioactive molecules that have high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective activities in polyphenols such as flavonoids as well as other bioactive substances.
Stabilized blood sugar levels
Adding lentils to your diet is a great way to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Diabetes, hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance, which are common in PCOS, can be controlled by incorporating these foods into your diet on a regular basis.
Lentils are well-known for their ability to lower blood pressure, which lowers your overall risk of heart disease. Lentils also include proteins that inhibit angiotensin i-converting enzyme (ACE), a substance that causes blood vessels to constrict and raises your blood pressure.
Homocysteine is prevented from accumulating excessively because lentils are a good source of folate (a common amino acid in our blood). Obesity raises your risk of heart disease. As a result, you eat less food and balance your blood sugar levels, which is good for your health.
Great protein source
For vegetarians and vegans, lentils are a good source of protein because they contain roughly 25% protein. Methionine and tryptophan are missing from the diet, despite the fact that it provides all of the required amino acids. When combined with whole grains, they give an amino acid profile that includes all nine of the important ones.
Side Effects of Lentils
Although lentils are a healthy alternative to meat, poultry, and fish, they do have certain drawbacks.
Kidney Stones Risk
Massey et al. found that some lentils, like soybeans, soy foods, peanut butter, and refried beans, contain high levels of oxalate chemicals. These oxalate compounds caused renal stones. Those with kidney stones should avoid legumes and lentils.
Kidney Disease Risk
High protein consumption has various negative effects. Our bodies require 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Excess protein consumption can cause kidney damage. Long-term, this removal can harm renal function.
Gases Produced by Fermentation
Lentils ferment and emit gas after entering the digestive tract. Too much lentil eating should be avoided unless you don’t mind being a bit gassy.