Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world. Today, it also remains one of the most popular foods across many continents. One of the reasons it is so popular as a food ingredient is be cause it is so versatile to many wonderful recipes. Many healthy diets incorporate this bean, including traditional cuisines that stem from the Middle East, the Mediterranean region, and African nations. Chickpeas are second only to soybeans.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that has many health benefits:
- help to keep you with a satisfied feeling after a meal,
- increases digestive motility,
- digests easily,
- helps to keep blood sugar levels stable as a good protein source,
- provides protection against disease.
Chickpeas provide a wonderful combination of protein, vitamins and minerals. One half cup provides (in daily recommended values):
- 134 calories
- 6.3 gm fiber
- 7.3 gm protein
- 2.1 gm fat
All of these nutrients are considered vegetable sources of excellent nutrition.
In addition, they are excellent sources of manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Chickpeas are even more filling if you pair them with other nutritious whole-foods, like vegetables or organic goat cheese. Because they are low in calories but high in essential fiber and protein, they are a perfect food for those looking to extend calories for healthier food choices.
Chickpeas can help prevent disease:
Chickpeas have been shown to help balance unhealthy cholesterol levels, to reduce hypertension, and to protect against heart disease in a multitude of ways. Consuming beans has also been shown in studies to have protective benefits against the formation of cancer cells, particularly in the colon.
Because beans keep the digestive system free from harmful bacteria and toxic build-up, they create a healthier overall environment where PH levels are balanced, inflammation is reduced and therefore cancer cells cannot grow like they can in an unhealthy environment.
Chickpeas are an easy addition to many recipes, snacks, and meals:
Chickpeas can be added to an Indian curry dish, an Italian pasta dish, and in a French stew. Or try a simple traditional Hummus. It should taste fresh, with high quality olive oil and lemon. You can use canned beans.
Or, try this Fun Snack using Chickpeas:
Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
- Rinse well and drain a can or two.
- Then spread out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and blot until completely dry.
- Remove the paper towels, drizzle on a few Tbsp.
- Olive Oil and roll them around and coat.
- Pop them in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.
- Season with a mild salt, and a Cajun or seasoned salt as, Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt. Be creative!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation