Chickpeas also called Garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family, which includes a variety of beans, peanuts, soybeans and lentils. Because chickpeas are also high in protein and iron, they are a good, inexpensive substitute for meat, which normally provides those same nutrients.
Chickpeas, or Garbanzo beans, contain healthy protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Chickpeas also offer specific health benefits, and consuming them regularly boosts your intake of a few key nutrients. With its generous dose of protein, chickpea is a very smart food choice to include in a vegetarian’s diet.Chickpeas are tasty additions to salads and pastas.
- Protein As a high-fiber, low-fat source of carbohydrate and plant protein, chickpeas make valuable nutritional contributions to vegetarian, gluten-free, heart-healthy and diabetic diets.Chickpeas are a fiber-rich food. Fiber-rich foods not only help keep you regular, but they help you feel full longer. Fiber (especially soluble fiber as found in chickpeas) helps to lower blood cholesterol and slow the absorption of sugar. So, if you’re diabetic, this is a great food for you.
- Vitamins – Chickpeas are a source of dietary vitamin B6, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, riboflavin, or vitamin B2, thiamin or vitamin B1, folate and choline. Of these, vitamin B6 and vitamin B5 are the most abundant. Chickpeas are among the richest sources of vitamin B6, according to the National Institutes of Health. One of this vitamin’s functions is supporting the immune system. Vitamin B5 helps the body maintain a healthy digestive tract and normal hormone production, among other functions. A 100g serving of canned chickpeas contains 21 IU of vitamin A and 12mcg of beta carotene, which is a small part of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of these nutrients. Vitamin A helps support the eyes, bones and normal cell division as well as the immune system. Beta carotene is a compound the body can turn into vitamin A. This compound gives orange and yellow fruits and vegetables their color. It’s important for eyesight, a strong immune system and healthy skin. A small amount of vitamin C is present in chickpeas
- Iron – Chickpea legumes contain 5 mg. of iron per cup.
- Minerals – Chickpea is rich in iron, phosphorous, manganese, calcium and other minerals that are essential for the body and keep you healthy and fit.
If you increase the amount of fiber in your diet too quickly, you may experience side effects such as bloating, gas, cramps and even diarrhea. To avoid this, gradually add more chickpeas and other high-fiber foods to your meals, and drink plenty of water to help the digestive process work smoothly.