Are Chickpeas Healthy Like Everyone Thinks? – all You Need to Know

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Lauren Zembron
Lauren Zembronhttps://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/
I am a 34 year old living outside of Boston with my wonderful husband, energetic daughter, sweet son, and playful dog. I have degrees in both psychology and guidance counseling, and have worked in a variety of school settings. I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“. I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle.
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I do not know about you, but I love chickpeas. They are one of the tasty kinds of legumes that you want to not stop eating, especially if you use a good recipe to make a delicious dish with them.

But are chickpeas healthy? That is the question with most foods we consume, as it should be because eating healthy is essential for the human body.

Chickpeas have a lot of health benefits that help us prevent the development of a lot of big bad diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more.

Keep reading this article to find out more about chickpeas benefits and side effects.

What Are Chickpeas?

What are chickpeas used for? Before you get to learn about how beneficial chickpeas can be, you need to question, what are chickpeas made of?  

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans, and they are a form of legume which is also similar to peanuts and kidney beans. 

They have a nutty, buttery flavor with a creamy texture. The Kabuli variety is mostly known in the U.S. as a bit larger than peas, tan, and round. 

In India and the Middle East, the common black chickpeas are the Desi variety, which is much smaller, less round, and darker than the Kabuli chickpeas.

The earliest use of chickpeas known to man in France dates to 6970 B.C., and in Turkey, it dates to 3500 B.C. 

Nowadays, in over fifty countries, chickpeas are grown. India grows most than any other country on this earth.

Are chickpeas a vegetable, or are chickpeas protein? They are both.

Chickpea Nutrition

Chickpeas have a lot of health benefits as they are very nutritious. The nutritional value of chickpeas is beyond the charts.

They have a high concentration of fiber, vitamins, and vegetarian protein content. Chickpeas are a great source of B vitamin as wellness professionals suggest.

So, eating chickpea products is beneficial as it is good for people with different health conditions. You should eat more chickpeas.

Let us take a look at the nutrition of one-half cup of cooked chickpeas:

  • 7 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 135 calories
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 2.4 mg iron
  • 141 mg folate
  • 22 grams d carbohydrate 
  • 239 mg potassium 

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

What are chickpeas good for? Well, a lot of things. Let us explore them.

Diabetes

As we know, chickpeas are rich in fiber, which helps diabetes patients. 

A study in 2014 shows that inflammation in people who have type 1 diabetes reduces if they eat 30 grams of fiber every day.

Another study in 2018 concludes that a lot of fiber in your diet helps lower the glucose levels in your blood as well as reduce the development of type 2 diabetes.

Bone Health

Calcium, iron, and other nutrients that chickpeas have can lead to healthy bone strength and structure.

Chickpeas can help prevent osteoporosis as well if you add chickpeas to your diet.

Blood Pressure

You have to consume less salt and potassium for high blood pressure, and in a cup of chickpeas, there are only 474 milligrams of potassium, which is less than in most foods.

If you cook dry chickpeas, you may need less salt in your meal. However, you should check how much potassium is in canned chickpeas.

Heart Health

The potassium, iron, selenium, fiber, B vitamins, and magnesium that is in chickpeas help in keeping your heart healthy.

Fibers keep the cholesterol in your blood in check, making it safer for your heart. Plus, chickpeas do not contain cholesterol.

Cancer

There are free radicals in our bodies that are toxic to us. When they build up, they can easily damage our cells and even lead to cancer.

Antioxidants are what help get rid of these free radicals, and chickpeas have enough antioxidants in them.

The beta carotene and selenium in chickpeas are the antioxidants that fight the free radicals in our bodies.

The antioxidant selenium can help prevent cancer in your body. It is good for colorectal cancer as well.

Just put chickpeas in a food processor if you do not like them much. Or you can have chickpea flour or roasted chickpeas as well.

Chickpeas benefits for female humans are that they help with preventing the development of various cancers.

Cholesterol

A study in 2006 shows that the participants who had chickpeas in their diet had less LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol. 

This means that chickpeas help lower the bad cholesterol in your body.

Mental Health

Chickpeas contain choline, which can with your brain and the function of your nervous system. Choline can play a role in muscle control, memory, mood, learning, and even the metabolism of your body.

Some research shows that the deficiency of selenium can increase the likelihood of cognitive decline, which means that the selenium in chickpeas helps with thinking and memory.

Digestion

Chickpeas are rich in fiber, which helps with the digestive system and promotes regularity as well. So, if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you should eat chickpeas as they support digestive health.

Weight Management

Chickpeas have dietary fiber and protein in them that act as bulking agents in your system, which may make you feel fuller faster.

If you feel fuller, you eat less. As a result, you lose more weight and reach a healthy weight. So, eating chickpeas means healthy eating.

Anemia

Your body cannot carry oxygen to each cell if there is no iron in your blood. This could lead to an iron deficiency or anemia. 

As a result, you will feel weak and tired, but you may be in danger of other threatening complications as well.

Chickpeas contain about 4.7 milligrams of iron if you have a cup full of it. This is the ½ and ⅕  of your daily requirement. Chickpeas even contain vitamin C, which helps absorb iron. 

Side Effects of Chickpeas

You should not eat a lot of chickpeas at once as it might cause more gas in your system. However, research shows that the human body can adapt to it.

There was a study using beans with 40 volunteers who ate half a cup of beans, and 35% of them experienced flatulence the first week. But, in the second week, only 19% of them experienced it. Only 3% of them experienced it by the eighth week.

As chickpeas are pretty similar to beans, you should expect similar results and digestive adjustments. 

If you soak dried chickpeas overnight, it takes out the components that cause gas.

Other than that, canned chickpeas may have Bisphenol A or BPA in them, which may be harmful to us. So, avoid canned chickpeas.

Conclusion

Are chickpeas healthy? Yes, they are not just tasty but also very healthy for human beings. 

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans contain so many good nutrients that help alleviate the possibility of developing many dangerous ailments like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry along and do your groceries to add chickpeas to your diet now. But, it is better if you avoided canned chickpeas.

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