LENTILS HEALTH BENEFITS AND MINERALS

Posted in SEREALS HEALTH BENEFITS AND MINERALS

Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils, as an ancient food source, has been known to mankind for a very long time. The cultivation of lentils is as old as early agriculture. It provides lot of health benefits, which include the following:

Good for Muscle Generation: Our organs and muscles need a constant supply of protein for repair and growth of the body.  Lentils, especially sprouted lentils, contain all the essential amino acids that are needed by our body for good muscle-building and smooth functioning of the body.

Controls Diabetes: A study conducted by Anderson and Bridges showed that in the various categories of foods, dietary fiber was found to be high in the case of the legume family. Lentils, along with beans and peas, belong to the legume family.  Dietary fiber found food such as lentils helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Dietary fiber slows down the rate at which food is absorbed by the blood and thus maintains the sugar level constantly.

Improves Digestion: As lentils contain high levels of dietary fiber, it improves digestion if consumed regularly. It also helps in easy bowel movement, resulting in decreased constipation.

Heart Health: Lentils, with their negligible amounts of fat, are an ideal source of protein without adding any extra fat to the body, thereby promoting a healthy heart. Lentils contain magnesium, which helps in relaxing cardiovascular muscles and helping to lower blood pressure.

Prevents Atherosclerosis: Research conducted by Xu, Yuan, and Chang at the Department of Cereal and Foods Sciences in North Dakota showed that the consumption of lentils provides a supply of antioxidants that decreased the chances of developing atherosclerosis. Also, these antioxidants play a role in neutralizing free radicals and thereby preventing cell and gene damage (aging).

Counteracting Cancer: Studies conducted by Elvira González De Mejía & Valentin I. Prisecaru at the University of Illinois have found that plant lectins, a separate type of plant protein originating from foods like lentils, wheat, peanuts, peas, and soybeans have a great influence on cancer cells. Research studies have shown that these lectins cause cytotoxicity and apoptosis, which means that they have a great potential to control cancer growth.

Good Source of Folic Acid: Lentils are a good source of Vitamin B-complex, such as folate or folic acid. The consumption of folic acid by pregnant woman helps in preventing birth defects. According to study by Susan J Duthie, at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, UK, a lack of folic acid often results in neural tube defects.  Folate found in lentils helps in the formation of red blood cells, is good for pregnant women, and plays a key role in maintaining homocystine levels. It is also known to be effective against hypertension and DNA damage, which may result in cancer.

Weight Management:  Research studies suggest that the regular consumption of lentils can help in weight control and increase satiety.

Healthy Nervous System: It was long believed that micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals did not have an effect on the functioning of the brain. However, further research suggested that for the proper functioning of the brain, vitamins and minerals are equally important. According to the research conducted by J.M. Bourre at the Department of Neuro-pharmaco-nutrition at Fernand Widal Hospital in Paris, vitamins and minerals found in lentils are helpful in optimum brain functioning.

High Iron Content: Lentils contain high amounts of iron, which is needed by the body for optimum hemoglobin production. About 36% of the iron of the Daily Recommended value can comes from eating 1 cup (200 grams) of lentils every day.

lentilsinfoImproved Electrolytic Activity: Potassium, one of the minerals found in lentils, is regarded as a better substitute for electrolytic activity than sodium. Many diseases have been associated with a high sodium content and a low potassium content in the body. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, potassium is also helpful for the functioning of a number of organs like the heart, brain, and kidney.

Boosts Metabolism: Lentils are a good source of many vitamins, including vitamin B3, which plays a significant role in boosting the digestive and nervous systems. Vitamin B3 offers many other benefits, including cholesterol control, a decreased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.

Nutrition value

Serving size :100g.

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

%  RDA

Energy

353 Kcal

 

Carbohydrates

60 g

20%

Protein

25.8 g

52%

Total Fat

1.1g

2%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

30 g

122%

VITAMINS

Vitamin A

39.0IU

1%

Vitamin C

4.4mg

7%

Vitamin D

~

~

Vitamin E

0.5mg

2%

Vitamin K

5.0mcg

6%

Thiamin

0.9mg

58%

Riboflavin

0.2mg

12%

Niacin

2.6mg

13%

Vitamin B6

0.5mg

27%

Folate

479 mcg

120%

Vitamin  B12

0.0mcg

0%

Pantothenic Acid

2.1mg

21%

Choline

96.4

mg

Betaine

~

 

MINERALS

Calcium

56.0mg

6%

Iron

7.5mg

42%

Magnesium

122 mg

31%

Phosphorus

451 mg

45%

Potassium

955 mg

27%

Sodium

6.0mg

0%

Zinc

4.8mg

32%

Copper

0.5mg

26%

Manganese

1.3mg

67%

Selenium

8.3mcg

12%

Fluoride

 

 

 

 

         
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