How Eating Lentils Every Day Affects Your Health

There are certain foods that you may not think about adding into your diet, especially if they seem a bit unappealing. Foods like turnips, mushrooms, and lentils aren't exactly trending on TikTok, but perhaps they should be considering their health benefits. 

According to WebMD, lentils, which are a legume, are one of the world's oldest nutrient dense foods, and were once considered by the Egyptians to be "royal fare." Similar to beans, lentils come in various colors, but unlike a bean, a lentil is never eaten fresh from peeling, it is dried first (via All Recipes). The versatile food is typically easily accessible, affordable, and commonly used in soups, salads, dips, and stews.

Now, just hearing the word "lentils," might leave a bad taste in your mouth, as the food has a reputation for causing bloating and gas, but according to Healthline, soaking them prior to eating them can help reduce those pesky symptoms. If you can get past the stigma surrounding lentils, there are some significant reasons you should start eating them.

Lentils are beneficial in more ways than you think

The lentil is an essential nutrient powerhouse, as one half cup of the cooked legume contains 12 grams of protein and nine grams of fiber (via WebMD). They are also rich in antioxidants and minerals including folate, iron, and manganese. Lentils contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium as well, which according to the National Institutes of Health, promotes a natural decrease in blood pressure.

According to Medical News Today, adding more fiber to your diet can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and when swapping meats for fiber rich foods, you might decrease the risk of heart disease. 

The benefits of eating this little legume don't stop with your heart. According to Shape, the folate in lentils can help improve brain function, and Eat This Not That! reports that eating lentils regularly may reduce the risk of diabetes and improve gut microbiome. 

Finally, you may get some gas with an increase in fiber, but it may be well worth it. According to certified nutritionist Serena Poony, adding more lentils, and in turn, more fiber into your diet, "can help you maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, lose weight, and prevent disease."