What are Chickpeas?
The chickpea is a legume of the plant family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. This plant is mainly grown for its healthy and nutritious seeds. These seeds are known for protein and fibre.
There are other names for chickpeas too starting from gram, Bengal gram, Egyptian pea, garbanzo and garbanzo bean.
Chickpeas are grown in Middle Eastern countries for a long time now.
Some people say that chickpeas can replace meat as they are high in protein.
These nutty seeds are a rich source of vitamins, fibre, and minerals and offer a variety of benefits, especially health benefits like improving digestion, reducing the weight, and lowering the risk of certain diseases.
Some of these benefits are listed below-
1. Have a significant amount of protein
- Chickpeas provide a variety of minerals and vitamins along with a right amount of protein and fibre.
- One ounce of these contains 46 calories out of which 31 grams are carbs, and 2 grams is fibre following 3 grams of protein and some other elements as well.
- It is suitable for attaining a better amount of protein given its grainy texture.
2. Helps to manage weight
- Chickpea has some properties which could be helpful in losing weight.
- It contains a right amount of nutrients and provides low calories. Therefore they do not affect the weight.
- In a study, it was found that those who regularly ate chickpeas were 53% less likely to get fat than those who did not.
- It has appetite-lowering properties along with the potential to reduce calorie intake during meals.
- There was one more study, according to which eating at least 1 serving of legumes such as chickpeas every day can help to reduce 25% more weight than others.
- So, those who are keen to lose weight and do not want any extra calorie should consider adding chickpea in their diet chart.
3. It supports blood sugar control
- Chickpeas have a relatively low glycemic index (GI) which represents the marker of how Blood sugar rises after having food.
- Dieticians have suggested that foods which have low GI are instrumental in promoting blood sugar management.
- As mentioned earlier, they are an excellent source of fibre and protein which absorbs carbs and promotes a steady rise in blood sugar levels.
- In a study, it was seen that there was a 21% reduction in blood sugar levels when 19 people ate a meal containing 200 grams of chickpeas.
- In some more studies, chickpea consumption resulted in the reduction of risks of several diseases which includes heart disease and diabetes.
- Thus, all these factors represent the management of blood sugar levels.
4. It boosts heart health
- The garbanzo beans help to balance and control cholesterol levels as they have high levels of soluble fibre.
- Also, they help in preventing atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks.
- These peas are also capable of reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.
- For reducing the inflammation in the body and protecting the heart, it has only omega -3 fatty acids which are known as the beneficial polyunsaturated fats.
5. It has a better source of antioxidants
- The antioxidants in Chickpea are productive and beneficial for health; these include polyphenols, beta-carotene, phytonutrients, and vitamins.
- These antioxidants are required for seeking out the not so fond of cellular metabolism byproducts or free radicles, which can lead healthy cells to mutate.
- The antioxidants found in chickpeas are very beneficial to protect the body from several dangerous diseases such as coronary heart disease, macular disorder or even cancer.
- So, these peas are not only packed with nutrients but also have a good range of antioxidants which are beneficial for health.
6. Chickpeas are Beneficial for digestion
- It is filled with fibre, and fibre has sound effects on metabolism.
- As the fibre in chickpea is mostly soluble, it merges with water effortlessly and then generates a gel-like substance in the digestive system.
- According to a study, around 42 people for 12 weeks regularly ate 104 grams of chickpeas, and the result was that they experienced better bowel function and softer stool consistency than before.
- So, those who are suffering any digestive problems or might want to improve it should try this one.
7. Good for skin too
- It is also proved that chickpea is good for skin health as well.
- These peas have manganese present in them which eliminates the chances of wrinkles and fine lines formation, thus enhances the skin health.
- For providing a detox effect on skin, it also contains molybdenum which helps to remove sulphites.
- There are undoubtedly other elements which are helpful to keep the skin glowing and soft; these include zinc, folate and other vitamins.
8. It also helps to balance hormones
- These peas contain plant hormones which are called phytoestrogens which works similar to the Estrogen (female natural body hormone).
- It is suggested that those who consume garbanzo can counter menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms naturally, these symptoms might include night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings.
- These hormones can also protect diseases which women are most commonly affected like osteoporosis and breast cancer.
9. It might also prevent genetic problems
- It might be hard to believe that a pea could avert genetic effects but it does, at least according to facts.
- There is an element found in Chickpea called Folate which is an essential B-vitamin source for women.
- At the time of birth of children, there might be complications or have risks of defects in the neural tube if the folate levels are low.
- Therefore, Chickpeas are said to be a good source of preventing any genetic issues for a baby and ensures their healthy delivery.
10. Can prevent diabetes
- Chickpeas are a rich source of soluble fibre, and thus can regulate or control the blood sugar levels.
- A problem with blood sugar can lead to diabetes, so these peas ensure or keep the blood sugar healthy.
- It activates the insulin which helps to remove sugar from the blood, thus prevents diabetes.
- They also have several other vitamins and minerals which helps to reduce the risks of Type-2 diabetes for the reason that those elements do not spike the blood sugar.
- So, those who are afraid that they might have diabetes shortly should surely include these in their regular diet.
11. Good for hair
- Chickpeas are also suitable for wonderfully controlling hair loss and damage.
- As these peas are high in protein and iron, they work naturally for those who are suffering from significant hair loss.
- These beans also have the benefits of Vitamin A, B, and E and omega six fatty acids which not only boosts blood circulation but also develop the scalp health.
- So, the people who are experiencing hair loss should start eating these nutritious peas.
- When cooking dried chickpeas they should be washed and soaked in water for 8 to 10 hours; it can be done a night before cooking it. This way the harmful compounds are removed which might cause any problems in the gastrointestinal system.
- Before actually cooking the soaked chickpeas, it is better to simmer them for few hours so that they become tender.
So nutrition has done, blood sugar control and diabetes prevention done, hair health done, hormonal balance done! What not can these chickpeas do?
So, to have good health, you should surely include these Chickpeas in your diet.