Chickpeas (Buckwheat Chickpeas), also known as chickpea, is a legume commonly consumed in many parts of the world. Legumes are the dried, edible seeds of leguminous plants, or leguminous plants.
There are many types of chickpeas, but the Kabuli variety has a smooth texture and buttery flavor and is the most commonly used type in the United States
Chickpeas are a nutritional powerhouse, providing plant-based protein, fiber, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and consuming them is associated with a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood sugar and reduced risk factors for heart disease.
In this article, we’ll explore the health benefits and nutrition of chickpeas and share tips for incorporating this nutritious legume into your diet.
Chickpeas are rich in fiber, a nutrient that plays an important role in gastrointestinal health. The fiber content of chickpeas is 18% to 22%, which is composed of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. It produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate, which are compounds that have a positive impact on gut health. SCFAs promote overall digestive health and function by regulating intestinal inflammation, serving as a fuel source for colon cells, and strengthening the intestinal lining.
Soluble fiber also draws water into your stool, which helps make bowel movements softer and more comfortable.
Insoluble fiber differs from soluble fiber in that it is difficult to ferment by gut bacteria. Instead, this type of fiber passes intact through your digestive system, adding bulk to your stool and helping to promote regular bowel movements.
In addition to being good for gut health, fiber-rich foods like chickpeas can help you feel full after eating, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, a diet rich in fiber can help reduce the risk of common health conditions such as heart disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
In fact, a 2018 review of 11 studies found that participants with the highest fiber intake had a 21 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared with those with the lowest fiber intake.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood sugar may increase your risk.
Adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet is one of the easiest ways to take care of your heart health. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels by reducing the body’s absorption of cholesterol and increasing its excretion through feces.
In addition to fiber, chickpeas contain other cardioprotective substances, including phytonutrients such as isoflavones and saponins. Isoflavones have powerful antioxidant properties that help prevent hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Saponins bind to cholesterol, inhibiting absorption by the digestive system and lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Additionally, chickpeas are rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that are essential in regulating blood pressure levels. Eating foods rich in magnesium and potassium, such as chickpeas, has been shown to be an effective way to reduce high blood pressure levels.
A 2017 review of 19 studies found that for every 100 milligram (mg) increase in daily magnesium intake, the risk of high blood pressure decreased by 5%.
Many studies show that a diet rich in legumes, such as chickpeas, can reduce the risk of heart disease.For example, a 2019 review of 28 studies found that people with the highest legume intakes had a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease, the most common form of legume disease, than those with the lowest legume intakes. Types of heart disease in the United States
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber and protein, two nutrients that play an important role in feeling full. Both protein and fiber slow digestion and increase the production of satiety hormones like glucagon-like peptide 1 and cholecystokinin, which help you feel fuller after a meal.
Choosing more protein- and fiber-rich foods, such as chickpeas, can help increase your feeling of fullness, which can help you eat fewer calories, which is important for promoting healthy weight loss.
Research shows that eating chickpeas can reduce your appetite and help you eat fewer calories later in the day.
A small 2017 study of 12 women found that when participants consumed 200 grams (g) of chickpeas, they consumed less calories at their next meal 120 minutes later, compared to isocaloric white bread. Approximately 194 calories reduced.
This suggests that adding chickpeas to meals can help suppress appetite and reduce overall calorie intake, which can help prevent weight gain and prevent obesity.
In the 2019 review mentioned above, people with the highest intake of legumes, such as chickpeas, had a 13% lower risk of obesity compared with those with the lowest intake of legumes.
In addition to protecting heart health and supporting a healthy weight, eating chickpeas may enhance blood sugar regulation.
In addition to being an excellent source of fiber and protein (both of which help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream), chickpeas also contain slowly digesting starch, which is the same as fast-digesting carbohydrate sources like white bread. In comparison, chickpeas are more resistant to digestion. Helps prevent blood sugar from rising after meals.
Choosing more complex carbohydrate sources that are rich in fiber and protein, such as chickpeas, is an easy way to promote healthy blood sugar levels.
A small 2014 study of 15 men found that eating 223 grams of chickpeas reduced post-meal blood sugar levels by 47 percent compared with a serving of white bread.
Because chickpeas are rich in nutrients and promote healthy blood sugar regulation, they are an excellent choice for people with type 2 diabetes. A 2023 review of 28 studies found that consuming legumes such as chickpeas significantly improved markers of blood sugar regulation, such as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin and markers of insulin resistance, in people with type 2 diabetes.
Chickpeas have high nutritional value. Although small, these beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, folate and potassium.
Here are the nutritional facts for one cup of cooked chickpeas:
- Calories: 269
- protein: 14.5 grams (grams)
- fiber: 44.9 grams
- fat: 12.5 grams
- fat: 4.25 grams
- Folic acid: 282 micrograms (mcg) or 71% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.228 mg or 13% of the DV
- iron: 4.74 mg or 26% of daily value
- manganese: 1.69 mg or 73% of the DV
- magnesium: 78.7 mg or 19% of daily value
- Potassium: 477 mg or 10% of daily value
- selenium: 6.07 mcg or 11% of DV
- Zinc: 2.51 mg or 23% of daily value
Chickpeas are rich in many nutrients, but are especially high in protein, fiber and micronutrients such as folate, potassium, magnesium and zinc, all of which play important roles in health. For example, magnesium and potassium are both involved in blood pressure regulation, which is why adding magnesium- and potassium-rich foods to your diet is crucial for heart health.
Chickpeas are also rich in folate, a B vitamin that is particularly important for pregnant women as it plays a vital role in the growth and development of the fetus.
Because chickpeas are so nutritious, eating them regularly can help improve the overall quality of your diet. In fact, studies show that people who eat a diet high in chickpeas have higher nutrient intakes of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium and iron than those who don’t eat chickpeas.
For most people, chickpeas are safe to eat. However, because they are high in fiber, eating large amounts may cause bloating and gas, especially in people who are not used to eating high-fiber foods. If your current diet is low in fiber, it’s best to slowly increase your fiber intake over time, which can help reduce your chances of experiencing symptoms like bloating and gas.
It should be noted that chickpeas contain antinutrients, or compounds that interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron and zinc.
However, research shows that heat treatment (such as cooking) as well as other preparation methods (such as soaking) can significantly reduce the antinutrient content of legumes such as chickpeas. As long as chickpeas are prepared properly, they are safe to eat and will not interfere with nutrient absorption.
Chickpeas are versatile and nutritious, making them a smart kitchen staple.
You can buy canned or dried chickpeas. While canned chickpeas can be eaten directly, dried chickpeas require preparation before consumption, including soaking and cooking.
Here are a few ways to add chickpeas to your diet:
- Add chickpeas to salads and grain bowls for a boost of plant-based protein
- Puree cooked chickpeas and use them to thicken soups and stews
- Add chickpeas to tuna and chicken salads as a source of fiber
- Make easy homemade hummus using chickpeas, olive oil, salt and lemon juice
- Coat chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until crispy for a filling snack
In addition to canned and dried chickpeas, you can also buy chickpea-based products such as hummus and chickpea flour. Hummus makes a delicious dip or spread, while chickpea flour makes a healthy addition to baked goods like breads and muffins.
Chickpeas, also known as chickpeas, are nutrient-dense legumes that are rich in plant protein, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals.
Research shows that eating chickpeas may help protect heart health, lower blood sugar levels, and promote healthy weight maintenance.
In addition to being highly nutritious, chickpeas are so versatile that they can be added to dishes like salads and soups and made into delicious dips and spreads. Try adding chickpeas to your diet to boost your health in a delicious way.