Health Benefits Of Lentils: Nutritional Facts, Values & Side Effects

health benefits lentils side effects

Lentils and chickpeas are one of the foods that research has proven to be very efficient in supplying the body with both nutritional and physical advantages. Their consumption has contributed to optimal functioning of the body system, prevention of diseases and effective treatment for disorders in the body.

Their importance in day to day meals can not be over emphasized and their relatively cheap cost of acquiring is outstanding compared to other food ingredients. This article gives an insight into the advantages and health benefits of making lentils and chickpeas a regular part of our daily meals.

Types Of Lentils

Lentils are nutritious legumes that have their origin in parts of Europe and Asia. With an appearance that is similar to that of ‘bean seed’ they are often confused with each other, but lentils have more nutritional advantages aiding proper functioning of various metabolic activities and providing the body with the much needed nutrients. This unique substance occurs naturally and is filled with nutrient such as fibre, protein and has low fat quantity. Apart from their health and nutritional benefits this legume also exist in varieties making their preparation and consumption more appealing.

Types of lentils are:

Red lentils

     Off all varieties of lentils this is the easiest to cook with it taking barely 20 minutes get fully cooked. It is not as nutritious as the other types but its small and soft nature makes it a perfect combo for fast meals and is often taken with soups.

Red lentils are rich in fibre, potassium, manganese and various other types of nutrient essential to the body.

Green lentils

Green lentils are characterised by their peppery and hard nature. It takes the longest time to cook compared to other varieties with over 50 minutes in the pot. Green lentils are somewhat very nutritious and contain antibacterial qualities which makes it a good ingredient to be added along with regular meals.

Black lentils

    Black lentils have proven over time to be the variety with the most nutritional content. Apart from being a perfect mix with different type of meals it also possesses antioxidant and probiotic qualities which help in combating various diseases and ailments. Although it takes the name black lentils it is not actually black in appearance, rather it takes a dark blue nature.

Brown lentils

Brown lentils are the favorite of all the varieties as it has managed to pull together all the best qualities of the other types. Brown lentils are the most common type and can easily be bought at local stores. It shares a lot of similarities with bean seeds and can be made a regular part of daily meals.

Also this variety has high nutritional qualities consisting of magnesium, protein, fibre and a host of others and its intake has proven over time to be able to stimulate metabolic processes in the body. It can be prepared alone or along with other meals and vegetables.

Brown lentils nutritional facts and values

0.5g of fat

235 cal
16g of fibre

17g of protein
357mg of folate

6.7mg of iron

1.2mg of manganese

732mg of pottassium
0.5mg of copper

257mg of phisphorus

356mg of phosphorus
0.6mg of thiamine
72mg of magnesium

2.6mg of zinc
1. 5mg of  vitamin B5
0. 5mg of vitamin B6

 Are Lentils Good for weight loss?

That is a question often asked by many people and I’m glad to tell you that lentils are exceptionally good for weightloss. Lentils are rich in fibre, protein and other nutrients essential to the body but have low fat content thus making them a perfect substitute of many other foods with relatively high fat content such as red meat.

Lentils Recipes

Lentils can be prepared in different type of ways, its amazing taste, nutritional content and wide varieties makes it a favorite that can be added along with many dishes, below are some of the best lentils recipe

  1. Lentil salad
  2. Lentil broth
  3. Seasoned Lentil and Chicken
  4. Potato, lentils and mustard sauce

There are various other amazing recipes for preparing lentils, its varieties make it a unique ingredient to have in the home as it can be used to spice up almost any meal. It’s relatively cheap price can not be overlooked. Nonetheless lentils are something you can afford to try new experiments with as they would always leave your meals dashing with glory.

Health Benefits Of Eating Lentils

Weight loss

Lentils are a favorite when it comes to foods that are consumed for weightloss, the legume has unique properties as it is rich in a number of minerals and nutrients which include fibre, protein and has high calorie content but extremely low in fat. This means that it provides the body with almost all the essential nutrient without having any negative effect on health.

Lentils can be mixed with other meals or eaten alone, nonetheless it will mee the body working at an optimal pace.

Glowy skin

Lentil not only help to nourish the internal part of the body but also keeps the skin among all other parts fresh and beautiful.

Many do not know but lentils are actually part of the top foods prescribed by beauty experts to get a nice glowy beautiful skin and great hair. The reason is that it contains protein which is a major factor in determine how all these develops.

Healthy heart

Lentils have some unique qualities which make them very good for keeping the heart in a very good shape no matter the variety. Apart from its high calorie content which stimulate a lot of metabolic activities in the body the legume is also rich in fibre which is essential to the proper functioning of the heart.

Many other food types contain fibre but lentils have a unique combination of high fibre, manganese and potassium content with relatively no amount of fat. This gives the body and heart important nutrient to function without having to worry about cholesterol problems.

Overall, everyone who hopes to live a healthy life should not hesitate to add lentils as a basic of the day to day meals.

Pregnancy

Lentils is one of the foods that pregnant women are advised to make a regular part of their meal. This is because the ingredient is rich in iron, an element that is important to pregnant women for good pregnancy health and prevention of premature birth.

Lentils can be added with normal meals or taken as soups but still remains efficient in providing nutritional value for both the mother and child.

Digestion

It is a known fact that lentils help stimulate various metabolic activities in the body and that includes digestion. The fibre present in the legume makes it a good ingredient to correct irregularities in the stomach such as constipation or uncontrollable bowel movement.

It is one of the known foods that are known to balance irregularities in the stomach especially one that is caused by indigestion by help thickening stool and aiding in absorption of nutrients.

Energy production

Naturally, lentils are rich in carbohydrate which is the main nutrient required for energy by the whole body system and this legume is well provided with it. Another advantage of lentils over other type of foods is that they occur in a simple state which allows them to be broken down easily by the body system, hence they are a good source of energy.

Lentils are rich in carbohydrate, copper, iron and many others, all of which aid optimal energy production in the body.

Protein

This is one of the reasons why lentils are preferred among vegetarians than other people because it tends to provide for them a variety of nutrients which they lack because of their abstinence from flesh food. One of those nutrients include protein and lentils do well to provide that in a significant quantity.

In fact, of all types of legumes lentils are on the list of top five providers of protein, a nutrient essential to growth and repairing of damaged tissues.

Side Effects Of Lentils

Flatulence

Although lentils have some exceptional nutritious qualities they can also have damaging effects to the body when consumed in excess, an example is flatulence

Flatulence is a situation whereby there is presence of excessive gas in the alimentary canal and they way lentils contribute to this is quite simple.

Lentils contain some elements such as fibre which have complex makeup and so the  small intestine is not capable of breaking them down and has to pass it raw to the large intestine. It takes quite a lot of time for the large intestine to be able to break this ingredients down and their accumulation often leads to bloating and passing of excess gas, hence flatulence.

So, to avoid such inconveniences one needs to watch the quantity of lentils consumed on a regular basis.

Kidney dysfunction

It is a well known fact that one of the main components of lentils is protein. Protein helps in keeping the body active and repairing of damaged tissues but in excess it is likely to damage the kidney.

The reason is that the kidney is responsible for converting it and filtering toxic substances out of the body, hence too much lentils over works the kidney and it may develop some disorders over time.

Are Lentils bad for you?

Overall lentils are one of the healthiest and most nutritious legumes. Its intake has been attributed to preventing a lot of diseases and disorders in the body, also it is quite appealing to consume with each variety having its unique properties that separate them. But in excess they can cause some damage to the body by damaging the kidney or any other important organ in the body.

The advantages of lentils greatly exceed it negative consequences so lentils are very good for you, both in taste and in nutritional value.

Which of the variety of lentils is most healthy?

Brown lentils which is the most common type is believed to be the most healthy of the varieties having combined almost all other the good qualities of the other types. Also it is easily mixed with regular meals and it contains many essential nutrients especially protein and fibre.

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