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Lentils, like other beans, are rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble type.

Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile (which contains cholesterol)and ferries it out of the body.

People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily.

Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.

Lentils' magnesium puts yet another plus in the column of its beneficial cardiovascular effects. When enough magnesium is around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels.