Eating beans, lentils and other legumes may help you cut down on LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower your risk for heart disease, a new review suggests.
Other than lowering cholestrol, lentils and beans also help in weight loss, stabilizing blood sugar which in turn helps im diabeties and digestive health… They are a very good source of protein, iron, vitamin C and energy.
The multi-nutritious and prevention powers of beans of all categories like kidney (black, navy, pinto), chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soybeans, dried peas and lentils make them an anti-aging dietary necessity.
It is also said that beans and lentils help in lowering the risk of cancer. In a review of dietary data from 90,630 women age 26 to 46, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who ate beans and lentils at least twice a week had a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate them just once a month.
Canadian researchers examined 26 U.S. and Canadian studies that included a total of more than 1,000 people. Their analysis showed that one daily serving (3/4 cup) of legumes — foods such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas — was linked to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 5 percent. The study couldn’t confirm cause-and-effect, but did show a strong association.
The 5 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol suggests a potential 5 percent lower risk of heart disease, according to a team led by Dr. John Sievenpiper, of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
The heart-healthy effect of legumes was greater in men than women, the research found. That may be because men tend to have worse eating habits and higher cholesterol levels to begin with than women, so they might gain more from switching to a healthier diet.
“It’s time to spill the beans. By making a small dietary change, such as consuming one serving a day of beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas — as most of the world does already — we can make a modest risk reduction in our incidence of heart disease by lowering our ‘bad cholesterol’ LDL, especially in men,” said Dr. Robert Graham, an internist and natural remedy specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
The study was published in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal.