Chickpeas benefits for health are very important for everyone. We all eat chickpeas, and we are not aware of what it does to the bodyes. We usually eat it, finely salted anyway, but unfortunately, we rarely use it in our daily diet to prepare delicious meals.
Chickpeas are an agricultural and garden crop that is often grown. The plant from which this legume originates is Cicer arietinum and is considered one of the earliest cultivated crops.
In the Middle East, its remains have been found for millennia. Originally grown in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas are spreading their culinary influences across areas around the world.
It stands out in Italian, Greek, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Chickpeas belong to the legume family, along with beans, peas, buckwheat, green beans, etc.
Lately, with the growing interest in healthy food, this legume is returning to the big door in the daily diet. The reason is above all its impressive nutritional composition that is properly distributed.
It contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other nutrients that the body benefits from in a variety of ways.
Also, one of its big advantages is of course the low price of chickpeas. It can be easily included in the diet menu, as healthy snacks, in various stews and salads.
Although lately, the most popular is the preparation of hummus, a traditional dish from the Middle East, with a really specific taste.
9 Chickpeas benefits for health
Here are 9 reasons why you should have meals that include chickpeas at your table more often.
1) Rich source of various nutrients
Chickpeas have an impressive nutritional value, which is very good for our health.
It has a moderate calorie content, providing 46kcal per 28g. 67% of calories come from carbohydrates and the rest from protein. The fat content is quite low.
Chickpeas also provide us with vitamins and minerals, but also a significant amount of fiber and protein.
Only 28g of prepared chickpeas contain (1) :
2) Chickpeas benefits for health with proteins
This property makes chickpeas especially suitable for people who avoid or do not eat animal products at all, even during fasting. The protein content is similar to other legumes.
But some studies say that chickpea proteins are of a higher quality than other legumes. This means that the amino acid profile of chickpeas is at an enviable level.
Namely, almost all essential amino acids are present in this food, with the exception of methionine. Chickpea proteins can help control appetite and thus lose weight. Some studies also suggest that they affect bone and muscle health.
3) Chickpeas are good for digestion and weight loss
As already mentioned, the proteins present in chickpeas can help in the weight loss process, by reducing appetite. But perhaps the most important role in weight loss is played by fiber and the low caloric value of chickpeas.
The importance of fiber for the health of the intestinal microflora, and thus for the overall health of a man is great.
Among the most important positive effects of fiber are: maintaining the health and movement of the small intestine, as well as the colon.
There is also the nutrition of the beneficial microflora, ensuring the gradual release of glucose into the blood and the reduction of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
In addition, more and more studies provide data on the role of fiber in optimizing the intestinal microflora, and through it to the overall health of the body.
They thus reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular, malignant (especially intestinal) diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Studies show that those on a high-fiber diet are significantly less likely to lose weight on average than those on a low-fiber diet.
In addition, fiber and protein slow down digestion, which also promotes a feeling of satiety. In one study, subjects ate 100g of chickpeas a day for 12 weeks. According to the results, most of them felt a prolonged feeling of satiety.
And at the same timeless need for fast food, compared to the period when they did not consume chickpeas.
4) Chickpeas benefits for health and blood sugar
This property of chickpeas is due, above all, to fiber. It has a low glycemic index, ie after consumption, it does not make strong spikes in blood glucose.
This in itself, consequently, does not make steep falls, which would promote hunger. This means that it is suitable for people diagnosed with diabetes.
In addition to fiber, studies show that proteins play a role in this beneficial effect.
Several studies have been done on this topic, according to which it is recommended to consume meals in which chickpeas are present as often as possible.
5) Chickpeas can have a preventive effect on some chronic diseases
Chickpeas have several properties that can help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases:
Chickpeas are a good source of magnesium and potassium, many important minerals for heart health, which play a role in regulating blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for most cardiovascular diseases. In addition, as already mentioned, fiber can help lower the level of total cholesterol in the blood.
And as we know cholesterol is also among the major risk factors for heart disease.
Regular consumption of chickpeas promotes the production of butyrate.
Butyrate is a fatty acid that several studies have linked to the potential to reduce chronic inflammation of the colon, which is one of the leading causes of colon cancer. Furthermore, chickpeas are a good source of saponins.
They are plant components that in some studies show anticancer activity (prevent the growth of some malignant tissues).
Also, some of the most minerals and vitamins contained in chickpeas show certain preventive properties against cancer.
As already mentioned, chickpeas are a portion of good food for diabetics. This is because it has a low glycemic index, ie it has a good amount of fiber and protein.
In addition, the micronutrient content of chickpeas, ie its vitamins and minerals, also in some studies show a preventive effect on type 2 diabetes (magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, etc.).
6) Chickpeas benefits for health and bones
Iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K are contained in chickpeas and all these vitamins will contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Although calcium phosphate is important in bone structure, it is essential for proper bone mineralization for a careful balance of the two minerals.
This is important because consuming too much phosphorus with too little calcium can result in bone loss.
The formation of the bone matrix requires the minerals manganese, iron, and zinc which play a key role in the production and maturation of collagen.
Low doses of vitamin K are associated with an increased risk of bone fracture.
Proper consumption of vitamin K is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of the bone protein matrix and improves calcium absorption.
7) Chickpeas benefits for health and heart
Due to the high percentage of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, the content of all these in chickpeas is supportive of heart health.
Chickpeas contain significant amounts of fiber, which helps reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. And lowering your blood cholesterol is the key to reducing your risk of heart disease.
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).
8) Chickpeas against cancer
Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables but can therefore be found in chickpeas.
It plays a role in the liver function of enzymes. It also helps in detoxifying some carcinogenic ingredients in the body.
In addition, selenium prevents inflammation and also reduces tumor growth.
Chickpeas also contain folic acid, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, preventing cancer cells from forming mutations in DNA.
Saponins, which are present in chickpea phytochemicals, prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading throughout the body.
Due to the richness of fiber, it is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps protect cells from free radical damage.
9) Chickpeas help with inflammation
Choline is a very important ingredient in chickpeas that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps maintain the structure of cell membranes and helps transmit nerve impulses.
Let’s not forget that its action helps in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Chickpeas benefits for health with hummus
Hummus is traditional for the Middle East region. Lately, its popularity is growing worldwide, due to its specific, rich taste and smooth texture.
It is also considered to be one of the healthiest spreads on the market.
In addition, a proven, great recipe for preparing homemade hummus, which can be much tastier than those on the shelves in the markets, of course, if you prepare it carefully with love, and with the right groceries.
How to make hummus yourself?
For our recipe we will use:
- 200g chickpeas about 40g secret,
- just under 1 tablespoon salt,
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil,
- 3 tablespoons mustard (preferably white)
- 3-4 large teaspoons of lemon juice (can be combined with apple cider vinegar, to taste),
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or a small head of garlic, black pepper, and other spices that are added after preparation.
First, the chickpeas are left to soften overnight, and if you are impatient you can try for a few hours. Once it softens well, the chickpeas are then boiled for as long as possible, up to 30-40 minutes.
Of course, you can also use chickpeas that have already been cooked and canned. Next is the blender setting.
If you have a blender with a larger capacity, you can put all the listed foods in it at once, but if the blender has less power, then first add the bigger things like chickpeas and tahini, and then dose from the others.
Cover half of the contents in the blender with water. Stop the blender for about 20 seconds and remove the contents of the blades.
Texture of hummus
If it is not “smooth” enough, gradually add water (maybe from the water in which the chickpeas were boiled), but be careful not to overdo it.
If you do not have a blender, it does not mean that you will not be able to get humus with the desired smooth texture.
After all, the people of the Middle East who created hummus certainly did not have blenders. You need a metal pestle and a suitable container in which the contents will not be stuck in the corners.
For a smoother texture, it is good to remove the skin from the chickpeas, but this is not necessary, especially considering that they also contain certain micronutrients that can be useful.
If you have a microwave, before placing the chickpeas in the crusher, place them in it for a short period of time, in order to further soften them.
With a metal pestle, grind the contents as hard as possible. Gradually add the tahini, which will gradually create a smoother structure.
Then gradually dose the other components. You can also add a small amount of warm water, but be careful. After ten minutes of crushing, the humus is ready for consumption.
Chickpeas are a real treasure for our health. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber.
Its composition is unique because it has an excellent distribution of calories and healthy ingredients. Chickpeas are delicious to eat, and the price is low, which is also an important factor for anyone to afford.
As for the benefits of consuming it, it helps with diabetes, weight loss, lower cholesterol, healthier bones, a healthier heart, and many other benefits.
So consume it regularly and enjoy its health benefits.