Delicious chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans are a wonderful superfood full of health benefits are and are a culinary healthy treat! Hummus made from them is delicious. Have you ever eaten falafel? Did you know that their main ingredient is chickpeas? Add chickpeas to your salads, soups, and stews adding high nutritional value to your meals and a very good protein too.
“Vegetarian and frugal it may be, but the chickpea is one of the most versatile ingredients you could keep in your cupboards.” ~ Yotam Ottolenghi
Chickpeas Health Benefits
Helps Keeps Blood Sugar Level
According to studies, it has been found that a diet with garbanzo beans showed improvement in blood sugar levels. 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.
Curbs Food Cravings
A 12-week study found that by adding a half cup of garbanzo beans per day participants ate less processed snack foods because they were not as hungry and bowel health also improved. Chickpeas high fiber content helps make them filling and improves digestion.
Excellent Source of Iron
A plant-based diet is often thought to be deficient in iron but one cup of chickpeas contains 26% of the daily requirement of iron needed per day. For comparison, one cup of stewed chicken contains only 7% of daily requirement of iron.
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.
Aids 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 keep your energy up. Research has shown that a diet with fiber helps with lowering body weight.
Provides important Antioxidants
The disease-fighting antioxidants in garbanzo beans are essential in the war between cancer-causing free radicals and healthy cells in your body.
Great Source of Protein
Chickpeas are a plant-based source of protein that is good for a vegetarian One cup provides 14.5 grams of protein approximately 29% of daily requirement of protein. We need protein for almost all body functions.
Chickpeas are usually eaten with grains or in hummus with tahini which is made of sesame seeds which are 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.
Beans can be challenging to the digestive system due to their high fiber and starch. Learn 7 Ways To Avoid Gas from Beans.
Chickpeas are a good source of protein: 14.5 grams of protein is approximately 29% DV. They provide essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. These are nutrients that are commonly lacking for vegetarians that are usually found in animal products.
A one cup serving of chickpeas contains (in daily recommended values): 84% manganese, 71% folate, 29% copper, 28% phosphorus, 26% iron and 17% zinc. For the detailed nutrition info go to Nutrition Data.
- The chickpea plant is a 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.
- Chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world.
- In the United States, they are primarily grown in California, Washington, and Idaho. – Encyclopedia
- 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.
- Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans and belong to the pea family.
- There are 43 types of chickpea, mainly used as food.
History of Chickpeas
- Chickpeas are an ancient crop first grown about 7,000 B.C. in Turkey.
- Now they are grown in over 45 countries providing a good source of protein to people in developing countries.
- In the 16th century, chickpeas were brought to other parts of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers and people from India who immigrated to other countries.
Tips for Eating Chickpeas
To get the tastiest and least gas-forming chickpeas, it is best to cook your own. See this research done on the best taste of chickpeas.
It is best to prepare them from dried beans.
I am quite fastidious about how to cook beans and lentils as I do not like experiencing the common thing we all associate beans with…GAS! I now feel good after eating beans and lentils because there is not all that gas and smelly farts.
It is easy to cook beans but it requires planning ahead of time. Learn how to cook beans, see my recipe.
How To Cook Beans and Lentils To Prevent Gas
Here are two delicious chickpea recipes:
Authentic Middle Eastern Hummus – Try this creamy traditional Middle Eastern Hummus dip; it is a blend of garbanzo beans, garlic, olive oil, and tahini. A great dip for a party or picnic. Who doesn’t enjoy delicious hummus? The other great thing about this dip is that it is dairy-free and gluten-free too.
Creamy Chickpea and Rice Pie – This chickpea pie is a very tasty meal which does take a little extra time to prepare but it is worth it. The great news is that it is dairy-free meaning it is vegan and gluten-free too!
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.