Sometimes the little guys just don’t get all the credit they deserve. Tyrion Lannister, for example. WTF? He basically saves King’s Landing at the Battle of Blackwater after Joffery goes scampering back to mommy and the Hound bolts. And what does he get in return? A nasty scar across his face and a stripping of his titles and responsibilities!
Oops, I think I got off topic. (But Game of Thrones fans, you feel me, right?)
Lentils. My favorite little guy that deserves a shout-out! Here’s why:
- Fiber-rich: 1 cup of cooked lentils has 62.5% of your RDA of fiber. Fiber helps the digestive system run properly, aiding in toxin elimination. Furthermore, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which is especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance and/or hypoglycemia.
- High in folate: lentils contain more of this important B vitamin than any other unfortified plant food. Folate protects the heart against cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of homocysteine in the blood, and is especially important for female reproductive health as it helps prevent birth defects. Also, studies suggest that folate coupled with vitamin B6 (which is also plentiful in lentils) may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- High in magnesium: magnesium helps relax veins and arteries, improving the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Studies have associated magnesium deficiency with increased risk of heart attack, anxiety, fatigue, muscle tension and cramps, kidney stones, headaches and much more.
- Great source of iron: iron transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
- Cheap and easy: a bag of dried organic lentils can be purchased for just a few dollars, and, unlike other beans, pre-soaking is not required to cook lentils.
Keep it up, little legume!