Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) are a type of legume in the same family as kidney beans and peanuts. They’re also called garbanzo beans. They have a buttery, nutty flavor and creamy texture.
Chickpea is one of the earliest cultivated legumes – remains as old as 7,500 years were found in the Middle East. Domesticated chickpeas have been found in Neolithic pottery in sure parts of Turkey.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are super rich in protein and other nutrients like vitamins B6 and C, folate, manganese, and magnesium.
They also contain calcium and some amounts of potassium (crucial for heart health). The protein helps build muscle mass and improves the health of cells while the magnesium, manganese, and calcium keep your bones strong.
Below are 6 health benefits of chickpeas:
1. Chickpeas help control blood sugar
Canned and dried chickpeas have a low glycemic index. This means your body absorbs and digests them slowly. Also, they have a type of starch that digests slowly, called amylose. Both of these things help keep your blood sugar and insulin from going up also fast. This is good for people with diabetes.
2. They help with digestion
Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, especially a soluble fiber called raffinose. The good bacteria in your gut breaks this down so your colon can digest it slowly. Studies have found that eating more chickpeas can help make bowel movements easier and more regular.
3. They can help lower cholesterol
Soluble fiber is good for more than gut health. It can lessen your total cholesterol and your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This lowers your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that you can lessen your total cholesterol if you add chickpeas to your diet.
4. They may lower your cancer risk
When you eat chickpeas, your body makes a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. In studies, butyrate is shown to help get rid of sick and dying cells. This may lower your risk for colorectal cancer. Chickpeas have other cancer-fighting compounds, also, such as lycopene and saponins.
5. They give you stronger bones
Chickpeas and other legumes have calcium, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients for strong bones. But be sure to soak them first to get rid of things called phytates, which can get in the way of your body absorbing the calcium in chickpeas.
6. They could boost your mental health
Chickpeas have choline, a nutrient that helps make essential chemicals for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system activity.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé