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Eating lentils could help to reduce decline in blood vessel health, says research

They are the simplest of legumes…but new research from a Canadian university suggests that lentils could help fight high blood pressure.

A research team at the University of Manitoba found that blood vessel health could be improved by eating the cost-effective staple.

The legume was found to help reduce high blood pressure in tests on rats with peripheral artery disease

Research carried out on rats suffering with peripheral artery disease found that consuming lentils improved blood flow around the body, in spite of fatty deposits in artery walls.

Lentils are rich in fibre, antioxidants, folate and magnesium, all of which promote good heart health and help regulate blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s annual conference, also concluded that the legume could potentially stop high blood pressure, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes.

Currently, the NHS spends around £2billion every year controlling hypertension.

Lead author of the university’s research, Dr Peter Zahradka called the results ‘amazing’:  He said: ‘They provide a non-pharmacological way of treating diseases associated with blood vessel dysfunction.’ 

Earlier this year, researchers warned that lentils could potentially inhibit breast cancer treatment.

Experts from Scripps University said the legumes contained an oestrogen-like compound that counteracted some effects cancer therapies.

University of Manitoba, Canada