Lentils could combat high blood pressure, research suggests.
An ‘amazing’ trial on rats revealed the pulse, used in curries and soups, can slash blood pressure that rises with age.
High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, is a silent killer and can lead to strokes, heart attacks and heart failure.
The NHS reportedly spends around £2 billion each year on dishing out medications to combat dangerously high blood pressure.
But the University of Manitoba study offered hope of a cheap and easy way of combating high blood pressure.
The scientists also discovered eating lentils can reverse declines in blood vessel health, The Daily Express reported at the time.
They presented their results at the American Heart Association’s annual conference. It was held in Dallas, Texas, that year.
Dr Peter Zahradka, one of the lead authors of the two experiments on the effects of lentils, branded the results ‘amazing’.
He added: ‘They provide a non-pharmacological way of treating diseases associated with blood vessel dysfunction.’
The first study revealed eating a mixture of legumes can improve blood flow to the legs of rats with peripheral artery disease.
The condition is like heart disease, except it occurs in the legs. It is caused by the build-up of fatty deposits in the artery walls.
The second study uncovered that eating lentils is effective in blocking high blood pressure, which strikes a quarter of adults in Britain.
It comes after researchers in January issued a warning that lentils can potentially disrupt breast cancer treatment.
Scripps University experts discovered they contain oestrogen-like compounds that counteract the effects of a common cancer therapy.
And lentil producers across the world rejoiced in September after Prince George’s £18,000-a-year private school served up a dish containing the pulse.
Growers reported a boost in demand for the crop as a direct consequence of the publication of the menu at Thomas’s school in Battersea, south west London.
It came after the lentils – which originated in Le Puy-en-Velay in France – suffered a devastatingly poor harvest last year during a humid summer.