Why You Need to Include Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) to Your Diet

Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)

Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folic acid, and iron.

A single cup of cooked lentils contains 16 grams of dietary fiber. It contains some soluble fiber but is an outstanding source of insoluble fiber. According to The Cancer Project, a diet that includes plenty of insoluble fiber can regulate bowel movements, promote digestive system health, and may significantly decrease the risk of colon, breast, throat and esophageal cancer. Fiber-rich foods like lentils may also help prevent stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and hypertension.

Cooked lentils provide 18 grams of protein per cup, with less than 1 gram of fat, negligible saturated fat, and no cholesterol. Whereas beef, poultry, and fish, all of which are good sources of protein but contain much higher amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.

The Harvard School of Public Health names lentils a better protein choice.

Each cup of cooked lentils has 358 micrograms of Folic Acid.

This amount supplies nearly 100 percent of the 400-microgram daily requirement of folate for adults which supports nervous system health, aids in energy metabolism and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells.

If your diet lacks adequate folate, you may be more likely to develop cancer, depression, heart disease, and age-related vision or hearing loss. It is especially important for pregnant women to include folate-rich foods like lentils in their diets. Pregnant women who eat at least 600 micrograms of folate daily may lessen the risk of their child being born with a birth defect.

A cup of lentils provides 87 percent of the iron men need daily and 38 percent of the amount a woman needs. The body uses iron to produce red blood cells and adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.

People with a deficiency of Iron may develop Anemia or neurological problems like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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