Chickpeas, The Nutritious Comfort Food
Delicious hummus with chickpeas is a culinary delight that is a tasty and healthy treat. But did you know that falafel balls are also made of chickpeas? They are also great in salads, stews and soups adding good protein with high nutritional value to your meals.
8 Health Benefits of Chickpeas
- Helps Lower Cholesterol
A diet supplemented with chickpeas has been found to lower (LDL) cholesterol in the blood according to a 5-week research study. Learn How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally.
- Keeps Blood Sugar Level
It has been found that a diet with garbanzo beans showed improvement in blood sugar levels according to studies. Another study found a decrease in fasting glucose and insulin after including beans and whole grains in the subjects’ diet. Most Canadian dietitians recommend eating beans to individuals with diabetes.
- Great Source of Iron
A plant-based diet is often thought to be deficient in iron, but one cup of chickpeas contains 26 percent of the daily requirement of iron. For comparison, one cup of stewed chicken contains only 7 percent of daily requirement of iron.
- Curbs Food Cravings
It was found in a 12-week study that by adding a half cup of chickpeas per day, participants ate less processed snack foods and bowel health improved. Being high in fiber, chickpeas tend to be filling and improve digestion.
- Helps with Weight Loss
Eating 3/4 cup of beans per day was found in studies to help with weight loss. The high fiber protein in beans helps you feel full and keeps your energy up. Research has shown that a diet with fiber helps with lowering body weight.
- Good Source of Protein
Chickpeas are a plant based source of protein, which is good for vegetarians. One cup provides 14.5 grams of protein, approximately 29 percent of the daily requirement of protein. We need protein for almost all body functions.
Chickpeas are popularly eaten with grains or in hummus with tahini, which is also high in protein.
- Helps Protect Against Cancer
Chickpea flour was found in studies to help stall cancer cells from forming. Also, bean consumption has been found to be protective against cancer, particularly colon cancer according to research.
- Good source of Antioxidants
The disease-fighting antioxidants in chickpeas are essential in the war between cancer-causing free radicals and healthy cells in your body.
Note: Beans, with their high fiber and starch, can be challenging to the digestive system. Learn 7 Ways To Avoid Gas from Beans.
- Chickpea plant is a simple or branched stem that grows from 8 to 20 inches in height with green pinnate leaves covered with hairs that consist of 5 to 7 pairs of leaflets.
- Chickpea is also known as garbanzo and belongs to the pea family.
- Chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world.
- In the United States, chickpeas are primarily grown in California, Washington and Idaho.
- Even Canadians grow chickpeas! Although only in a small area.
- They were roasted and used as a substitute for coffee, in 18th century Europe and during WWI.
- There are 43 types of chickpea, mainly used as food.
Chickpeas are a good source of protein: 14.5 grams of protein is approximately 29 percent of the daily recommended value. Also, they provide essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins, which are essential for those following a plant-based diet.
A one cup serving of chickpeas contains (in daily recommended values): 84 percent manganese, 71 percent folate, 29 percent copper, 28 percent phosphorus, 26 percent iron and 17 percent zinc. For the detailed nutrition info go to Nutrition Data.
“Vegetarian and frugal it may be, but the chickpea is one of the most versatile ingredients you could keep in your cupboards.” ~ Yotam Ottolenghi
Tips for Eating Chickpeas
To get the tastiest and least gas forming chickpeas, it’s best to prepare them from dried beans. See this research done on the best taste of chickpeas.
Simply add chickpeas to your salads for that extra nutritious delicious meal.