Protein is one of three essential macronutrients and is necessary for building muscles and facilitating many chemical reactions in the body. Proteins are composed of amino acids. While the human body can produce some amino acids, others must come from food. The amount of protein a person needs depends on their health, age, and activity level; it can range from 0.8 grams/kg to 2 grams/kg for very active individuals. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious high-protein foods available.
Lentils are a fiber- and protein-rich source of carbohydrates. One hundred grams of lentils provides nine grams of protein; a one-cup serving offers 17.9 grams. This makes lentils a great part of any healthy diet, especially since they're also rich in iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and the B vitamin folate. Folate and iron work together to support the production of red blood cells and improve blood flow, and with potassium, it can decrease the risk of heart disease. This B vitamin also plays an integral role in preventing neural tube defects during pregnancy.
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