Food and Nutrition


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Lentils' Role in Reducing Blood Pressure and Remodeling Arteries

Pulse crops are an important part of vegetable intake...

Because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, current research aims to find solutions to alleviate its risk factors. One such risk factor is high blood pressure. Dietary approaches make sense in prevention and mitigation of hypertension, including the popular DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Increasing vegetable intake is an important part of a healthy diet, especially in view that some research shows many of us do not even come near to consuming the recommended daily amounts suggested by the FDA. Pulse crops are an important part of vegetable intake, and this study aims to single out different properties of pulse crops and their health benefits, specifically lentils.

In this study, lentils above all the other pulses were found to attenuate a rise in blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Further, it also found a lentil-based diet to be able to attenuate aortic remodeling. Past studies have shown that all pulses are able to decrease levels of circulating cholesterol, but this is the first one that focuses on a specific pulse, lentils, in its ability to “affect the pathways involved in vascular remodeling and hypertension.” More studies are called for to determine the exact mechanisms involved in these results, but in the meantime, dig out Grandma’s lentil soup recipe and start cooking.

Hanson MG, Zahradka P, Taylor CG. Lentil-based diets attenuate hypertension and large-artery remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Br J Nutr 2014;111:690-698.


Summarized by the NDSU Extension Service.

Development of many of the materials on this website was made possible, in part, with funding from the Northern Pulse Growers Association.

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