For starters, lentils are a colorful and shelf-based alternative protein source. Proteins are often referred to as the building blocks of the human system, contributing to everything from hair, skin, and nail health to muscles, bones, and immunity. But it’s also important to remember the other nutrients you need to think about if you’re going plant-based. Unlike eggs, lentils aren’t complete proteins, meaning they don’t contain all the amino acids your body needs. Thus, make sure you’re getting the other amino acids from sources like tofu and brown rice.
Nutritionist and certified personal trainer Jennifer Hanway shared that the fiber content in these legumes, particularly soluble fiber, promote a healthy digestive system (via Real Simple). “Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that moves through the GI system and can help remove some substances related to high cholesterol,” she explained. The plant-based goodness of this food also includes antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, mainly owing to its content of polyphenols, per Healthline.
If you want to combat the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower your blood pressure, feel more energetic (courtesy of the iron content), or keep chronic diseases like cancer at bay, lentils can be a wonderful, not to mention easy and cost-effective, addition to your diet. The selenium content in this legume boosts the production of disease-killing T cells in your immune system, per Medical News Today.