Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a popular legume that has been enjoyed for centuries.
These nutritious beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various micronutrients. They are also low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
Here are the top 7 health benefits of chickpeas:
From boosting heart health to aiding in weight loss, chickpeas are definitely worth adding to your diet.
What Are Chickpeas?
Chickpeas are a type of legume that is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. They can be eaten whole, or they can be ground into a flour that is used to make bread and pastries.
Chickpeas are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron. They are also low in fat and calories.
Chickpeas can be cooked in several different ways. They can be boiled, baked, or fried.
Chickpeas can also be added to soups and stews.
When cooked, they have a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture.
Chickpeas are an important part of many traditional dishes, such as falafel, hummus, and curry.
1. Chickpeas are a traditional cuisine that dates back thousands of years:
The chickpea, also known as the garbanzo bean or the Ceci bean, is a subtropical and temperate legume that thrives in various climates.
Chickpeas are one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops, possibly dating back 7,500 years in Mesopotamia.
The chickpea plant, Cicer arietinum, is a flowering plant that produces seedpods with up to three chickpeas per pod.
Chickpeas are sturdy in texture and have a moderate, nutty flavor.
The Desi and Kabuli are the two most common types. Small, black seeds with a rough covering cover Desi chickpeas. India, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran produce most of these. Indians eat a lot of chickpeas.
On the other hand, the Kabuli has a smoother coat and a lighter hue. Europe, Africa, Afghanistan, and Chile are the primary producers.
In North America, Kabuli chickpeas are commonly sold as canned, dry, or hummus.
The Kabuli chickpea is included in the information that follows.
2. Chickpeas are packed with vitamins and minerals:
Although dry chickpeas can be prepared, the canned kind makes the nutrient-dense dish exceedingly convenient to consume. “Chickpeas are a vegetable and a protein, making them a really flexible food,” Manaker explains.
The salt content of canned chickpeas is unknown. Simply seek the words “low-sodium” on the label to prevent this.
In addition to chickpeas, hummus is minimally processed and contains tahini, oil, and spices. 269 calories, 15 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbs, 13 grams of fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals are included in one cup of cooked chickpeas.
3. Chickpeas are high in fiber, which is beneficial to one’s health:
Chickpeas are high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestion, satiety, and lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
According to Manaker, chickpeas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, both beneficial to the body.
In other words, fiber is important to digestive health because it helps bulk up stool, aids in moving things along, and prevents constipation.
The following is based on the expertise of Beth Stark, RDN, a gourmet dietitian in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: “soluble fiber binds LDL “bad” cholesterol in the digestive tract and excretes it from the body before it is absorbed.”
According to the American Heart Association, this lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure by reducing the accumulation of such cholesterol in your arteries.”
Chickpeas, for example, are high in protein and fiber, which can aid with weight management.
4. Chickpeas can also provide healthy fats:
Chickpeas include more than just fiber to aid your digestive system. “Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in chickpeas have been linked to improved heart health,” Manaker explains.
Chickpeas also include plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that “helps boost HDL cholesterol levels, also known as ‘good cholesterol,’” according to Stark.
When included in a heart-healthy dietary pattern, this can help decrease both triglycerides and blood pressure.
Chickpeas are also versatile, as they may be used in various dishes. “They are a meal that can be enjoyed as part of a variety of therapeutic or health-promoting diets, including heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, plant-based, vegetarian, vegan, and Mediterranean,” explains Manaker.
5. Chickpeas have a high mineral content:
Folate, zinc, copper, iron, and manganese are all abundant in this bean. “Eating chickpeas during pregnancy can help a (woman) satisfy her folate needs, which can lower the chance of a baby developing birth abnormalities like spina bifida,” Manaker says.
Zinc is a mineral that aids in producing cells that protect your body from toxins and other substances that could compromise your immunity.
Copper and iron help your body build red blood cells, and manganese aids blood sugar regulation.
6. Chickpeas can help protect you from disease:
Research suggests that a high intake of legumes may help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer and aid in weight loss.
One study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” found that participants who ate at least one serving of legumes per day were 29 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t.
In addition to reducing the risk for chronic disease, legumes have been linked to improved memory and cognition in older adults.
A study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” found that people who consumed more than four servings of legumes (each serving containing over 13 grams of protein) per week had better scores on tests measuring memory and executive function than individuals who consumed fewer servings.
7. Chickpeas can be prepared in a variety of ways:
As a follow-up to our discussion of the multiple health benefits of chickpeas, how about some delicious and nutritious ways to prepare them?
“Chickpeas can be easily incorporated into virtually any meal,” says Stark, citing the legume’s meaty texture and somewhat nutty flavor. “
One of my favorite ways to serve them is in a plant-based Mediterranean-inspired grain bowl with roasted tomatoes, cauliflower, torn kale, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a dollop of hummus.”
They’re also excellent blended into a smoothie or diced into a chopped salad.
Roasted chickpeas, rather than croutons, make an excellent salad element when substituted for croutons.
In addition, Stark says she enjoys topping homemade pureed soups, such as velvety tomato or butternut squash, with crunchy roasted chickpeas for crunch.
Are you prepared to take on the final challenge?
Chickpeas can be used to make a vegan cookie batter too.
There are many benefits to consuming chickpeas, including being a complete protein loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These legumes were one of the first foods cultivated and consumed by human beings.
Chickpeas provide more protein than nuts, as well as more minerals than most other legumes. “They are low in sodium and high in fiber, making them an excellent source of protein,” says Manaker.
Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-packed staples in the world. They include more vitamins and antioxidants than most other legumes and are low in sodium.
“If you’re craving a snack, go for a handful of chickpeas or a hummus wrap,” Manaker advises. “You’ll be getting in your daily dose of protein, fiber, and some antioxidants.”
When buying canned chickpeas, check the label to ensure no added salt or seasonings since these could lead to excessive sodium intake.