Mushrooms are considered to be very healthy vegetables. They are both delicious and have elevated medicinal properties. Full of antioxidants and vitamins, even a 3 oz. of portabella mushroom cap can provide more potassium than a banana or an orange.
A similar reputation stands for lentils and peas too. These vegetable seeds grow in pods and are also categorized under legumes. Lentils are packed with fiber and protein and provide very few calories or unwanted fat. They are some of the healthiest foods available on the planet, according to Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
Let's find out what nutritional and weight loss benefits lentils and mushrooms hold, and how we can have them have better fitness standards.
Part 1: Lentils
Before discussing how lentils may help you stay satiated for longer, we would like to run through a tabulated data of what their nutritional values are. This would help you know why so many wellness professionals ask you to include it in your fitness diet.
You can add a generous serving of lentils to your regular weight loss foods without any guilt. It is low in calories and nutrients that make it fit for any weight loss plan. A half-cup portion of cooked lentils will give you about 115 calories and that’s more than enough to keep you full and prevent you from eating anything extra.
Weight loss tip: Half a cup of lentils cooked in water has only 0.5 grams of fat.
Lentils are a great vegetarian protein source. A half-cup serving of cooked lentils in water provides 9 grams of protein, helping you build lean muscle mass. However, lentils aren’t a complete protein source and thus you should team them up with quinoa, beans, brown rice, or black-eyed peas.
Including plenty of foods rich in fiber is perhaps one of the healthiest methods of losing weight fast. Lentils take a while to chew and consume, allowing your body to register that you have eaten enough and do not require further nutrition. This nutrient also remains in the gut for a while, preventing you from snacking after your meals.
Most people who consume lentils daily report feelings of satisfaction for hours after their meals. This is especially true for people living in countries such as India and Pakistan where lentils (or daal) are a staple food in their diet.
A half-cup serving of boiled lentils will give you 8 grams of fiber, contributing to your recommended daily intake of 21 to 38 grams of fiber. Boiled lentils have a low glycemic index, which means they do not increase your blood sugar or insulin levels dramatically.
Canned lentils have a slightly higher glycemic index because of the amount of processing involved but they are still healthy to eat if fresh lentils are not available.
Since lentils are high in fiber, they help slow down the digestion of your meal, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable. Furthermore, fiber is not digested in the human body so it contributes to the mass of the food without offering any added calories.
Even though lentils are staple diet foods in several parts of South Asia and the Americas, they are in no way safer than any other food if consumed in excess. One may experience bloating, nausea, and other symptoms of digestive system disorders if one’s body fails to break down the fiber content.
A serious issue may also arise when a certain type of protein called lectin binds itself with the digestive tract of a human body, thus causing severe vomiting and cramping. This can happen when lentils are not cooked properly or when the person has gastrointestinal problems.
Part 2: Mushrooms
1. Mushrooms are a great source of lean proteins since they are low in carbs and have no cholesterol at all. They play an active role in balancing bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol levels to prevent various cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, and strokes.
2. They are a good source of iron that makes them a natural cure for people suffering from anemia. Over 90% of the nutritive iron value can be absorbed by the body, which promotes the formation of red blood cells and keeps people healthy and functioning at their full potential.
3. These fungi--based fruits are a powerhouse of antioxidants namely selenium, ergothioneine, etc. The latter is unique to mushrooms and is effective in providing protection from free radicals as well as boosting the immune system.
4. They are rich in vitamin D. The latter facilitates the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. They also contain a good amount of these two nutrients, so this effective combination in one vegetable makes it a good idea to eat them whenever possible.
5. They are a rich source of calcium, which makes them important for the formation and strength of bones. A regular supply of calcium in the diet can reduce the chances of diseases like osteoporosis, and can also reduce joint pain and general lack of mobility that is associated with bone degradation.
A lean protein diet is ideal for losing fat and building muscle mass. Mushrooms are an ideal food for people who are aiming for weight loss as they contain almost no fat, no sugar, and no salt but are a valuable source of dietary fiber.
The same list is appended with a lead in potassium, an important element that regulates the flow of water in our bodies. Mushrooms also contain a lot of water and they have low energy density. So, they don’t have too many calories per gram which can help you lose weight.
Mushrooms are often categorized as poisonous and they do deserve this reputation because most of their variants can indeed drive someone to some life-threatening situations. We thus ask you to be cautious in choosing these fungi-based fruits for your dietary practices.
There are some mushroom variants like lion mane, turkey tail, shiitake, enoki, and reishi that are safe and offer elevated properties for fitness professionals. They can boost your metabolism rates and also burn the extra flab in your body rather quickly.
Here are some of the benefits of eating lion mane, turkey tail, shiitake, enoki, and reishi mushrooms:
1. Prevent dementia and insomnia
2. Reduce the risk of heart ailments
3. Heal nervous system disorders
4. Can even reduce anxiety and stress
5. Resists cancer-causing agents
6. Reduce extra body flab
7. Packed with antioxidants
8. Boost immunity through polysaccharopeptides
9. Can be used to treat BP, cholesterol, and digestive system disorders
10. Reduce fatigue and calm the nervous system
Please note that these health benefits are only associated with the edible grade of mushrooms. We again caution you to choose only the edible variants of this fungi fruit. It would be even better to consult a healthcare expert before you include these foods in your weight loss diet.
As a corollary to the above caution, it is important to know how consuming an unknown or poisonous variant of this fungi fruit can cause you more harm than good. One may suffer from health issues like nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, drowsiness, stomach pain, convulsions, lack of motor control, and nervousness after eating an ill-advised piece of mushroom.
Some people may also experience mental issues like hallucinations and psychosis, though such cases are few and far between. Consuming an excess of such mushrooms may also be detrimental to one’s life. Be sure to check with a healthcare specialist if you have been experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms without any further delay.
From the above-highlighted points, it can be inferred that adding mushrooms to your daily diet helps in increasing fiber intake. This may lead to a faster weight loss experience, maintaining cholesterol levels, and lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Following listed are some of the simplest ways you can include this wonder vegetable in your routine without much of an effort:
Use them as pizza toppings
Add to your favorite soups
Roasted mushrooms as side snacks
As you persist with these easy and healthy ways to add this fruit to your daily diet, you can be sure of having a healthier and more fitness-centric outlook results quickly. Including lentils and mushrooms as a regular part of your diet can help you stay healthier and leaner, and can also help you achieve your weight loss faster!
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