Lentil Mental

lentilsTop 5 Healthiest Foods

Lentils – ‘Health’ Magazine has listed lentils as one of the top 5 healthiest foods you can eat and with good reason. They have been shown to be a key ingredient in fighting heart disease. This is due to the high levels of fibre, magnesium and folate. A high fibre diet (over 20 grams a day) has been shown to reduce heart disease by up to 15% in a study published in ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’. Another food study taken over 25 years from countries such as Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Finland and the U.S. has shown that diets that were the richest in Legumes (lentils are in this classification) was associated with a whopping 82% reduction in risk. The magnesium and folate both play a strong role here too.

Magnesium has been shown to help veins and arteries relax which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Magnesium deficiency is not only associated with heart attack but immediately following a heart attack lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical  injury to the heart. Folate is important as it helps the body convert homocysteine (an amino acid which damages the artery walls and is considered a serious risk factor in heart disease)) into cysteine and methionine, which are both benign.

Further to helping protect against heart disease, lentils are also a very good food for stabilising the blood sugar levels whilst providing steady slow burning energy, which is excellent news for diabetics.

Lastly lentils are a very good source of iron, particularly for menstruating women, and unlike red meat are low in fat and calories.

The only one down side to lentils really is there poor public image! They are seen as a boring staple food for vegetarians. Take a look at my recipes for imaginative and unusual ways that lentils can be appreciated for their diverseness.

There is a reason that they are in the top 5 healthiest foods!

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