Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that are high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. While chickpeas can provide health benefits, they may not be for everyone.
Raw chickpeas often contain proteins such as globulin, albumin, and prolamin, which are associated with allergic reactions, and these are retained even after the chickpea is cooked.
Rinsing chickpeas before consuming them helps eliminate these harmful chemicals and reduces the possibility of intestinal discomfort.
5 side effects of eating chickpeas
1. Allergic reaction
Some people are allergic to legumes, including chickpeas. Eating chickpeas if you have an intolerance may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and itching of the skin. It is best to seek a doctor’s advice before eating chickpeas because allergic reactions can be intense and sometimes even life-threatening.
2. Gastrointestinal problems
Gastrointestinal issues after eating legumes are quite common. Raw chickpeas contain toxic substances that do not get digested well. Cooked chickpeas also contain complex sugars, fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which can be difficult to digest and are not completely absorbed by the intestines. These sugars are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine and cause intestinal bloating or trapped gas within the intestine that causes discomfort. People with the following digestive tract diseases are advised to avoid chickpeas:
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction
- Lactose intolerance
- Hirschsprung disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
3. Interference with medications
Canned chickpeas contain high amounts of potassium. Since people who are on certain medications, such as beta-blockers for heart disease, have increased levels of potassium in the blood, they should be careful about their potassium intake.
4. Uric acid accumulation
Chickpeas contain a chemical called purine, and when broken down these purines produce excess uric acid, which results in gout. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints.
5. Kidney stones formation
Chickpeas contain oxalates, which are removed by the kidneys through urine. As oxalate levels increase in the body, they deposit in the kidney along with calcium, and produce calcium oxalate stones, a type of kidney stone. The increase in uric acid levels in the blood may promote the development of kidney stones.
9 benefits of eating chickpeas
Despite potential side effects, chickpeas are considered a healthy food because they are rich in nutrients, proteins, fibers, and minerals. Potential benefits include:
- Regulation of blood sugar: The low glycemic index of chickpeas helps the body maintain good blood glucose levels, and fiber reduces the absorption of blood sugar.
- Regulation of blood pressure: Chickpeas increase potassium levels in the body, which helps reduce blood pressure.
- Improves heart health: Soluble fiber in chickpeas reduces total cholesterol levels in the body and lowers the risk of heart diseases.
- Helps prevent cancer: Chickpeas have cancer-fighting compounds, such as lycopene and saponins. These antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent cell damage.
- Improves digestion: Chickpeas are rich in dietary and soluble fibers, which improve bowel movements and keep the digestive tract healthy.
- Aids in weight loss: Fiber keeps the body fuller for a longer duration and reduces hunger, which can help reduce body weight.
- Boosts bone health: Calcium and other minerals in chickpeas help strengthen bones and keep them healthy.
- Anemia management: Iron and vitamin C in chickpeas increase the production of healthy and functional red blood cells and help treat anemia.
- Improves mental health: Choline is a nutrient that improves memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system activity.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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/
Robbins O. Garbanzo Beans: Health Benefits, Downsides, & Best Uses of Chickpeas. Food Revolution Network. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/garbanzos-chickpeas/
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