Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is full of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They are nutrient-dense, meaning they have lots of useful nutrients but are relatively low in calories. You’ll find the versatile chickpea in many Mediterranean and Indian dishes, and it is a handy plant-based source of protein.
Chickpeas and health Benefits
Chickpeas and all pulses contain several components that, when eaten as part of a balanced plant-rich diet, may help prevent the development of various chronic diseases
Diabetes: Both dried and canned chickpeas have a low glycemic index and low glycemic load, and contain amylose, a resistant starch that digests slowly.
These factors help to prevent sudden surges in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can improve overall blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Gut Flora: Chickpeas contain a soluble fiber called raffinose, a type of
oligosaccharide that is fermented in the colon by beneficial bacteria called Bifidobacterium. As bacteria break down this fiber, a short chain fatty acid called butyrate is produced.
Butyrate plays a role in reducing inflammation in the cell wall of the colon, promoting regularity in the intestines, and possibly preventing colorectal cancer by promoting cell apoptosis (death).
Heart Disease: Chickpeas contain a plant sterol called sitosterol that is structurally similar to cholesterol in the body.
It interferes with the body’s absorption of cholesterol and thereby can help to lower blood cholesterol levels. The fiber and unsaturated fats in chickpeas may also favorably affect blood lipid levels.
Obesity: High fiber foods can help to promote a feeling of fullness and satiety by delaying digestion and adding bulk to meals. The satiating effect of the high fiber and protein content of chickpeas may help with weight management.