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Love hummus and gorging on chickpeas? Do you always wonder how chickpeas are beneficial to our body? Then you are at the right place as we tell you the health benefits of chickpeas.
What are Chickpeas?
Chickpeas are a legume and are commonly referred to as Bengal gram or garbanzo beans. India produces a substantial amount of chickpeas.
Chickpeas have numerous health benefits which help the human body in various ways. This article enlists top 15 nutritional benefits of chickpeas to help you appreciate this little wonder of nature.
15 Nutritional Benefits of Chickpeas
1. Excellent source of fiber
Fiber is extremely essential for the functioning of the body. It aids in the bowel movement in the body. It also helps in the removal of all the toxin by products in the body. A 28 gram serving of chickpea is loaded with 2 gram of fiber. The daily fiber requirement for an adult is 25 gram. So go ahead and supplement your diet with an extra dose of fiber by adding a good serving of chickpeas.
2. Great source of protein
As we all know, building muscles requires protein. Average sedentary man is required to consume 56 grams of protein per day and an average sedentary woman is required to consume 46 grams of protein per day. Chickpeas are a fabulous source of protein especially for people who are vegetarian. A 28 gm serving of chickpeas contains 3 grams of protein. Protein intake helps in building healthier bones and also controls our weight.
3. Keeps blood pressure in check
Chickpeas are loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B-6 which are essential for heart health. These vitamins regulate the blood cholesterol levels and also keeps blood pressure in check. The high fiber content in the chickpeas help to balance the cholesterol levels in the body and also prevent life threatening heart diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Chickpeas are also helpful in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in our body. So chickpeas are your heart’s best friend!
4. Anti-cancer properties
Beans and legumes have been hailed as cancer fighting food. Studies have shown that the selenium content in chickpeas are particularly effective in fighting against cancer causing cells. Diet plays an important role when comes to cancer. Women who are obese are more prone to developing breast cancer. Since chickpeas are high in fiber content, it creates a feeling of fullness and that prevents higher levels of estrogen in the body. This reduces the chances of contracting breast cancer.
5. Boosts immunity
Chickpeas are an excellent source of zinc and copper. These minerals are extremely essential for the development of the immune cells in the body. A cup of cooked chickpeas can provide up to 30% of the daily recommended copper intake and about 17% of the daily recommended zinc intake, hence boosting immunity.
6. Provides iron
One of the most common deficiencies in the world is anemia which is caused to the lack of requisite iron in the body. Legumes such as chickpeas, hailed world over for its nutritional benefits, also contains iron which is helpful for the body in fighting against anemia. Do note that the iron present in chickpeas is not easily absorbable by the body.
7. Has anti-oxidants
Chickpeas are loaded with anti-oxidant phytonutrients. These phytonutrients help in reducing cell damage and prevents the cells from oxidative stress. This helps in protecting critical systems of our body such as the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and the digestive system.
8. Regulates blood sugar
Consumption of half a cup of chickpeas can help regulate the release of sugar into the blood stream. The glycemic index of a food has a huge role to play in spiking the blood glucose levels once consumed. Since chickpeas have a low glycemic index, it is a diabetic friendly food which helps in maintaining the right blood glucose levels.
9. Contains slow release carbohydrates
Chickpeas are a complex carbohydrate. This means that the body takes time to breakdown the carbohydrate and slowly releases it into our system As a result, slow releasing carbohydrates do not spike the blood glucose levels quickly. This makes chickpeas an ideal companion if you are on a weight loss journey.
10. Aids in weight loss
Given the high fiber content in chickpeas, once consumed, chickpeas satiates our hunger and gives a feeling of fullness. This is extremely essential when you are on a weight loss journey. Feeling of fullness prevents mindless binging.
11. Improves eye health
A good eyesight requires plenty of beta carotenes. Chickpeas are loaded with beta carotenes which is very helpful in maintaining a good eyesight. Chickpeas also contain zinc and copper which are also required for maintaining good eye health.
12. Removes wrinkles
Chickpeas are rich in magnesium content. Magnesium plays a very important role in fighting the free radicals present in our body. Free radicals are a primary cause of wrinkles. Therefore, an increased intake of chickpeas in your diet ensure that you age slowly and the wrinkles stay at bay. A paste of chickpeas with water and curd can be directly applied on to the face for best results.
13. Prevents hair loss
Since chickpeas are a rich source of protein, it helps in strengthening and maintaining our hair follicles. This in turn ensures that we have better hair growth. The protein content in chickpeas helps against pre-mature greying and hairfall. Consider mixing mashed chickpeas and water and apply it on your scalp 30 mins before you rinse your hair. This simple home remedy will give you astonishing results.
14. Strengthens bones
Chickpeas are a very rich source of calcium and magnesium. These minerals are extremely essential in maintaining good bone health. Therefore, regular consumption of chickpeas protects our bones, increases bone density and prevents against several bone conditions such as osteoporosis.
15. Reduces inflammation
Chickpeas contain protein and fiber in abundance. This makes them an ideal candidate for reducing inflammation in the body. Chickpeas also contain various phytonutrients which enables the body to fight against inflammation. So if you are suffering from joint pains or arthritis, chickpeas are an ideal food item to consume.
Chickpeas are effectively a wonder food which should be consumed in abundance to protect your body from various harmful diseases. The benefits of chickpeas ranges from preventing cancer to lowering cholesterol levels. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and gorge on that yummy bowl of hummus to satiate your hunger!