Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that are rich in nutrients such as protein and fiber and offer several health benefits.
Chickpeas are also inexpensive and versatile, and you can add them to salads and stews for a boost of nutrition. Learn about the health and nutrition benefits of chickpeas.
What is the nutritional profile of chickpeas?
Vitamins in 100 grams of chickpeas:
- Folate: 71% of the daily value (DV)
- Thiamin (B1): 16% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Choline: 13% of the DV
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 9% of the DV
- Riboflavin (B2): 8% of the DV
- Niacin (B3): 5% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin A RAE: Less than 1% of the DV
Minerals in 100 grams of chickpeas:
- Manganese: 73% of the DV
- Copper: 64% of the DV
- Iron: 26% of the DV
- Zinc: 23% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
- Magnesium: 19% of the DV
- Selenium: 11% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
- Calcium: 6% of the DV
- Sodium: Less than 1% of the DV
Nutrition facts about chickpeas:
- Calories: 269 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 44.9 grams
- Fiber: 12.5 grams
- Sugars: 7.87 grams
- Fat: 4.25 grams
- Saturated: 0.44 grams
- Monounsaturated: 0.96 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 1.9 grams
- Omega-3: 0.07 grams
- Omega-6: 0.96 grams
- Protein: 14.5 grams
15 benefits of chickpeas
1. Promotes healthy pregnancy
Folate is a necessary vitamin for healthy pregnancy and the prevention of neural tube abnormalities (birth defects of the brain and spine). Folate is essential for DNA synthesis and methylation.
2. Reduces the risk of anemia and osteoporosis
Consuming chickpeas regularly can help reduce the risk of iron deficiency. A cup of chickpeas provides 4.7 mg of iron. Since chickpeas also contain vitamin C, which aids iron absorption, they can help prevent anemia and promote bone health.
3. Promotes weight loss
Chickpeas are high in fiber, which means they keep you feeling full for longer and can help you avoid overeating. This can help you lose or maintain weight. According to studies, chickpeas contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which can prolong stomach emptying and slow the rate of digestion.
4. Enhances heart health
Because chickpeas are high in selenium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B, fiber, and iron, they can help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Chickpeas also aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help minimize inflammation throughout the body and thus protect the heart. Potassium in chickpeas is good for regulating blood pressure, which is also related to heart health.
5. Controls blood sugar
Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, so they do not cause blood sugar spikes. This means they make an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
6. Promotes neurological health
Choline helps the brain and neurological system work properly. One cup of chickpeas has 70.2 mg of choline. Choline is essential for mood regulation, muscular control, learning, memory, and metabolism.
7. Reduces inflammation
Chickpeas contain choline, which aids in the maintenance of cellular membrane structures, the transmission of nerve impulses, fat absorption, and the reduction of chronic inflammation. Lowered inflammation is also due to vitamins A, C, and B6; fiber; protein; magnesium; selenium; and iron.
8. May reduce the risk of cancer
Several studies have found that eating chickpeas daily can help reduce your risk of certain cancers:
- Chickpeas help the body produce butyrate, which is a fatty acid that can lower inflammation in colon cells, decreasing your risk of colon cancer.
- Chickpeas contain saponins, which are plant compounds that aid in cancer prevention. Saponins are recognized for their potential to inhibit tumor development.
- Vitamin B in chickpeas has been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer and lung cancer.
9. Improves digestion
Chickpeas contain raffinose, a type of soluble dietary fiber that aids digestion and keeps the digestive tract healthy by clearing out waste and toxic substances. Fiber boosts the number of beneficial bacteria in the stomach and allows waste to pass through the digestive tract more efficiently.
10. Loaded with antioxidants
Antioxidants in chickpeas, such as vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, help fight oxidative stress and delay cellular aging. Antioxidants protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals and may even reverse the bad effects of smoking or pollutants. Furthermore, chickpea flour lowers the acrylamide concentration in processed meals.
11. May help balance hormones
Chickpeas contain phytoestrogens that mimic qualities of estrogen and may help maintain sex drive in women. They may help alleviate symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes. Chickpeas may also help reduce mood swings during menstruation.
12. Good source of protein
One cup of chickpeas has about 15 grams of protein, which is crucial for maintaining the health of critical organs, muscles, and tissues.
13. May combat hair loss
Protein in chickpeas may help prevent hair loss, and manganese and zinc can strengthen hair. Vitamin A and zinc help eliminate dandruff.
14. Beneficial for eye health
Chickpeas are high in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health. They also contain zinc, which helps prevent macular degeneration.
15. Good for skin
Manganese in chickpeas helps skin cells regenerate and combat wrinkle-causing free radicals. Molybdenum detoxifies the skin by removing sulfites. Other nutrients, such as folate and vitamin B, serve as fuel for skin cells which help restore the damage caused by the sun.
What precautions to take when eating chickpeas
Although chickpeas are nutritious and safe to consume, there are a few precautions to keep in mind when incorporating them in your diet:
- Avoid raw chickpeas: Raw chickpeas contain toxins and difficult-to-digest chemicals.
- May cause stomach upset: Cooked chickpeas contain complex carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest and cause bloating or stomach pain if consumed in excess. Too much fiber can also aggravate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Too much potassium: Too much potassium can be damaging to the kidneys. If you use beta-blockers, you should eat potassium in moderation.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Nelson A. Chickpeas. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-chickpeas
Harvard T.H. Chan. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans). https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans/
Wallace TC, Murray R, Zelman KM. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016;8(12):766. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188421/
Staughton J. Science-Based Health Benefits Of Chickpeas. Organic Information Services. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/chickpeas.html
Jukanti AK, Gaur PM, Gowda CL, Chibbar RN. Nutritional quality and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): a review. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 1:S11-26. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512000797
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