Commonly referred to as chickpeas, garbanzo beans come from a legume family. They have gained a lot of popularity in recent years as the main ingredient in hummus, a delicious Middle Eastern dip made by blending cooked chickpeas with Tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. Are Garbanzo Beans Good for You?
But with or without hummus, garbanzo beans offer various important benefits to your health, thus making it a healthy choice to incorporate into your diet. See Broccoli Hummus and Roasted Fennel Hummus.
Here is more on why garbanzo beans are actually good for you.
1. Aids digestion
Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber which is an important component of healthy digestion.
This fiber helps feed and increase the diversity of your good bacteria while suppressing the growth of the bad ones. When you lack enough good gut bacteria, the bad ones will thrive predisposing you to autoimmune conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gut issues like diarrhea, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Also, the fiber content in chickpeas helps add bulk to your stool thus promoting bowel movements and preventing constipation.
In one crossover study, 42 participants consumed their usual diet for 4 weeks followed by a chickpea-rich diet for 12 weeks, and back to their usual diet for another 4 weeks.
At the end of the study, the participants reported improved bowel functions and satiety levels.
2. Chickpeas are a good source of plant protein
Protein is an essential mineral needed for body processes. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids it’s this amino acid that the body uses for different functions like growth, tissue repair, and enzymatic functions.
All legumes contain some amino acids but unlike the rest, chickpea contains almost all the amino acids required by the body with only methionine missing. So combining chickpeas with other plant proteins like whole grains will easily provide all the required amino acids.
A cup of cooked/boiled chickpeas (164 g) contains 14.4 grams of protein or 29 percent of your daily protein requirements.
If you are a vegan or on a plant-based diet and wondering where your protein will come from, chickpeas will make a great addition to your diet.
3. Chickpeas can lower your cholesterol
Chickpeas contain soluble fiber that has been shown to lower total cholesterol. This may help lower the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
In one study, chickpea supplementation in the diet was compared to wheat supplementation for at least 5 weeks each. Total cholesterol was reduced by 3.9 percent while the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also referred to as “bad cholesterol” was reduced by 4.6 percent.
4. May help control blood sugar levels
Chickpeas are generally low in the Glycemic index making them suitable for blood sugar regulation especially for anyone with diabetes.
Chickpeas are also high in protein and fiber which slows digestion hence a slow-release and absorption of sugar into the blood. The fiber also promotes fullness, preventing you from overeating.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming chickpeas had a 21 percent reduction on blood glucose levels compared to whole grain cereals.
According to research, the glucose regulating effects of chickpeas may help prevent other chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
5. Improves heart health
Chickpeas are rich in heart-healthy vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, potassium iron, selenium, and magnesium which prevent high blood pressure, a great risk factor for heart disease. Read More.
6. They may help strengthen your bones
Chickpeas, like other legumes, contain substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium, protein, and phosphorus which play a big role in promoting and maintaining strong bones.
7. May help control your appetite
The high protein content increases the levels of satiety by increasing your appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1 and YY while reducing your hunger hormone ghrelin.
The high fiber also slows digestion which reduces stomach emptying and promotes the feeling of fullness. This reduces calorie intake and aids weight loss.
8. May help lower your cancer risk
Daily consumption of chickpeas may help lower your risk of developing certain cancers.
The fiber in chickpeas promotes the production of butyrate, short-chain fatty acid that nourishes your gut cells. Butyrate has also been shown to reduce inflammation and hinder the multiplication of colon cancer cells. Read More.
Chickpeas also contain saponins, compounds that lower blood lipids, lower blood glucose response, and lower cancer risks.
9. May boost your mental health
Chickpeas are high in choline, a nutrient that supports the nervous system and brain function. It treats anxiety, improves brain development, and increases mental sharpness and focus.
Choline can also lower inflammation, improve muscle movements, and promote good sleep. Read More.
10. Boosts energy and immunity
Chickpeas are a wonderful source of manganese, a trace mineral that boosts energy production. Manganese is also anti-inflammatory which helps reduce inflammation in the body and boost immunity.
A cup of chickpeas offers about 1.7 milligrams of manganese, which is equivalent to 84 percent of your daily requirement.
11. They are anti-aging
Chickpeas contain high levels of magnesium which balances the fatty acids in the body preventing wrinkles and fine lines.
The copper and iron in chickpeas also help promote circulation on the skin which helps nourish your cells giving you natural, glowing, and healthy skin.
12. They are great for your eyes
Chickpeas are an incredible source of zinc, a trace mineral that boosts the production of melanin which protects your eyes from direct sunlight.
Chickpeas are also high in vitamin A that is essential for nourishing your eyes’ mucus membrane, soothe eye inflammation and prevent macular degeneration and vision loss.
13. Promotes healthy hair
Chickpeas are high in hair strengthening nutrients like manganese, protein, zinc, and folate.
Vitamin A and zinc help fight dandruff while protein and manganese prevent thinning and weak hair strands.
Chickpeas are a type of legume with many health benefits.
If consumed regularly, chickpeas can help improve your digestion, bad cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, promote bone health, improve vision and eye health, promote heart health, and prevent premature aging.
Check Out These Vegan Chickpea Recipes
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