Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are legumes and a good source of protein and fiber. The most common type usually appears round and beige. They may look green when immature.
Many Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern recipes use chickpeas in cooking. The popular Middle-Eastern hummus is made with garbanzo beans. To get the best results, people would soak them in water for about 9 hours before cooking.
About 165 g of chickpeas contain:
– Calories: 270 kcal
– Total fat: 4.2 g
– Saturated fat: 0.4 g
– Monounsaturated fat: 1.0 g
– Polyunsaturated fat: 1.9 g
– Carbohydrate: 45 g
– Dietary fiber: 12.5 g
– Sugar: 8g
– Protein: 14.5 g
– Sodium: 11.5 mg
– Potassium: 477 mg
– Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 70.5 mg
– Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 1825 mg
– Vitamin A: 44.3 IU
– Vitamin C: 2.1 mg
– Vitamin E: 0.6 mg
– Vitamin K: 6.6 mcg
– Thiamine: 0.2 mg
– Niacin: 0.9 mg
– Riboflavin: 0.1 mg
– Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
– Folate: 282 mcg
– Pantothenic acid: 0.5 mg
– Ash: 1.5 g
– Choline: 70.2 mg
– Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
– Calcium: 80.4 mg
– Magnesium: 78.7 mg
– Phosphorus: 276 mg
– Iron: 4.7 mg
– Copper: 0.6 mg
– Zinc: 2.5 mg
– Selenium: 6.1 mcg
– Manganese: 1.7 mg
– Water: 98.7 g
Rich with many vital nutrients, chickpeas provide a number of possible health benefits.
Diabetes. Studies have shown that consuming high-fiber foods helps stabilize blood sugar level. Garbanzo beans are particularly high in fiber. Using them in cooking benefits both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes people.
Heart health. Soluble and insoluble fiber found in these legumes can lower the level of LDL cholesterol. A high level of LDL cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Chickpeas also provide a good amount of magnesium, potassium, and folate that helps lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Blood pressure. Many people understand the importance of a low-sodium (low-salt) food consumption for maintaining a low blood pressure. But not that many realize that increasing potassium consumption is also essential because of its vasodilation effects. Chickpeas are an excellent source of potassium.
Cancer. The presence of selenium in chickpeas helps detoxify cancer-causing compounds in the body and slow down tumor growth rates. Also, the folate content can prevent cancer cell formations and their subsequent mutations in the DNA.
High-fiber diets also lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Digestion. Because of its insoluble fiver, chickpeas help prevent constipation. They may also help people affected by irritable bowel syndrome.
Despite its rich nutrients, chickpeas are not ideal for everyone and may cause some side effects.
Discomfort. Legumes contain complex sugars which is known to cause some people discomfort and intestinal gas. It’s recommended that people should introduce garbanzo beans into their diet slowly and monitor body’s reaction to it.
Cramps. Some people may experience stomach cramps when they start eating chickpeas. This usually happens because of a sudden increase of fiber in the body that’s not accustomed to such amount. Stomach cramps should go away by themselves within a few hours.
Gas pains. Gas pains usually occurs due to trapped gas in the intestines. One may experience sharp abdominal pains, which is commonly accompanied with stomach bloating. If the pain is severe, call your doctor immediately.
Allergy. If you are allergic to multiple legumes, it’s best to consult with your doctor before eating chickpeas. An allergic reaction from chickpeas can be intense and life-threatening.
Medications. Be aware of medications you are taking. Some medications prescribed for heart disease can increase potassium level in the blood. Consuming chickpeas, which are high in potassium, can cause damages to kidneys.
Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, protein, and many other important nutrients. Although they can bring certain health benefits, you should introduce them slowly into your diet. That way, you can monitor for some known side effects and adjust quickly. If you are unsure, please, check with your doctor first.