Health Benefits of Lentils and Legumes (beans)

Lentils are an excellent source of cholesterol lowering fiber. Not only do lentil help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Legumes, compared to grains, supply about the same number of calories but usually two to four times as much protein. Many legumes, especially soybeans, are demonstrating impressive health benefits. Diets rich in legumes are being used to lower cholesterol levels, improve diabetics' blood glucose control, and reduce the risk of many cancers. A high fiber content of beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Common beans' contribution to heart health lies not jus in their high fiber content but in the significant amounts of antioxidants, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Legumes contain many important nutrients and photochemical, and when combined with grains, they form a complete protein. According to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, richly colored dried beans offer a high degree of antioxidant protection. In fact, small red kidney beans rated the highest, just ahead of blueberries. Common beans offer an excellent source of complex carbohydrate and fiber. They are a very good source of folic acid, molybdenum, phosphorus, iron, protein, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Interestingly, in one analysis of dietary data collected by validated food frequency questionnaires in 1991 and 1995 from 90,630 women in the Nurses' Health Study II, researchers found a significantly reduced frequency of breast cancer in the women who had a higher intake of beans or lentils. Intake of tea, onions, apples, string beans, broccoli, green pepper or blueberries had no protective effect. Eating beans or lentils two or more times per week was associated with a 24% reduced risk of breast cancer. We hope you enjoy vegetarian lentils and legumes recipes at

Source: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

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