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Add lentils to your meals can fight high blood pressure

Adding cheap lentils to your meals could prevent high blood pressure, several trials have shown.

We all know the old adage: eat your vegetables, if you want to be healthy. Well, it's still good advice, maybe more than ever. Legumes, in particular, are extremely healthy, since they are an important source of protein, dietary fiber and dietary minerals. The most popular legumes are beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Dr. Peter Zahradka of the University of Manitoba has published several studies on the health benefits of lentils.

Lentils have the second highest proportion of protein per calorie of any legume, after soy. Along with other legumes, they are also excellent sources of B vitamins and antioxidants. But perhaps more than other beans, lentils are good for protecting your heart.

In 2014, Zahradka and colleagues found that lentil-based diets attenuate hypertension and remodeling of large arteries in hypertensive rats. A year earlier, in 2013, a larger team came to the conclusion that the daily consumption of non-soybean legumes reverses vascular deterioration due to peripheral artery disease. Similar findings were reported in 2016. In general, there is much evidence that indicates the health benefits of lentils.

"These are surprising results, as they provide a non-pharmacological way to treat diseases associated with blood vessel dysfunction." said researcher Dr. Peter Zahradka.

"Lentils could alter the physical properties of blood vessels so that they resembled the vessels found in healthy animals."

Lentils are popular in many parts of the world, most often served as curries or as a soup. Tasty and versatile, lentils can serve as a great substitute for meat. You can add pulses to soups, stews and meat sauces to add texture and extra flavor. This means that you can use less meat, which makes the dish fatter and cheaper, writes the NHS. Image credits: Steven Depolo.

A quarter of the world's population is at risk for hypertension, and the risk increases more and more as you get older People with hypertension are more likely to have a variety of diseases, including heart disease, heart attacks , strokes or kidney diseases.

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