Chickpeas are versatile legumes that you can add to almost every meal. Whether you like it in hummus or in a green salad, it can give dishes much-needed fiber. Favored by vegetarians and vegans, it is a great source of protein and many beneficial nutrients. Learn how these round legumes can improve your wellbeing, from aiding digestion to preventing diabetes.
Types of Nutrients in Chickpeas
Chickpeas have been the topic of study for many research groups because of its outstanding nutritional value. It contains large amounts of fiber, minerals and vitamins as well. When combined with whole grains, chickpeas can provide adequate protein. They are gluten-free and taste great with healthy fats like olive oil and nuts.
A cup of cooked chickpeas can provide more than half of the potassium you need daily. In addition to potassium, they contain calcium and magnesium. The main purpose of these three minerals is to make bones, muscle and teeth stronger and healthier. The main vitamins found in chickpeas include vitamins A, B6, C and K. Combined, their function is to provide energy, immunity, growth and cell regeneration.
Chickpeas and Digestion
Eating more fiber is one of the best ways to care for your digestive system. Fortunately, chickpeas are highly fibrous foods. The soluble fiber in the peas is effective at preventing and treating constipation. They are often eaten by those who suffer from loose stools as well. When served with whole bread, quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains, they can help normalize digestion and bowel movements.
Chickpeas and Weight Loss
If you find controlling your appetite challenging, having regular servings of chickpeas can help. The dietary fiber expands in the stomach, which delays hunger and prevents you from eating more calories. Their satiating power also stems from their protein content, which can also prevent your muscles from wearing away while you lose weight. Because chickpeas are relatively high-caloric foods, moderate your portions.
Chickpeas and Diabetes
Fibrous foods often contain complex carbohydrates, which is also true for chickpeas. Complex carbohydrates are recommended for diabetics because they are broken down slowly in the body. When this happens, sugar spikes are avoided and insulin levels stay normal. Because blood sugar levels also affect weight, it makes a great food for diabetics who want to lose a few pounds safely.
Cooking with Chickpeas
There are a few kinds of chickpeas. The type widely available in stores is usually beige in color, but you can also purchase red, green and black varieties. Some specialty stores also supply chickpea flour, which health experts recommend as the healthier choice over all-purpose flour.
Chickpeas can be tasty with other legumes like sweet peas and beans. They also go well with a variety of whole grains if you want a more filling dish. Some cooks prefer to puree chickpeas into hummus, a popular dip made with tahini. You can season peas with salt, garlic, olive oil and other spices for a stronger flavor. Chickpeas contain around 260 calories per cup serving, so eat in moderation.