Chickpeas are good for the gut, contain important antioxidants and protect the cardiovascular system. Adding chickpeas to meals is an easy way to increase protein and fiber intake without adding a lot of calories.
Chickpeas are highly nutrient dense, meaning they are high in beneficial nutrients but relatively low in calories. They can be integrated in many ways and can be found in many Mediterranean and Indian dishes.
1 chickpea nutritional values
The following nutritional information is obtained from one cup (152 g) of canned chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed, according to the USDA.(1)
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 3.8g
- Sodium: 322 mg
- Carbohydrates: 35g
- Fiber: 9.6g
- Sugar: 6g
- Protein: 10.7g
Most of the calories in chickpeas come from carbohydrates. A cup of chickpeas contains about 35 grams of carbohydrates. Most carbohydrates are made up of fiber and starch. There is only a small amount of naturally occurring sugars in chickpeas.
Chickpeas contain a small amount of fat. Most of it is polyunsaturated fat, which is considered a healthier form of fat. Chickpeas also contain small amounts of saturated and monounsaturated fat.
Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, providing about 11 grams per cup. Protein is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also the building block of hair, skin and nails and is used to build muscle tissue.
1.4 Vitamins and Minerals
Chickpeas are a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid (providing about 14% of the daily requirement in one cup). You also get the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
Healthy minerals in chickpeas include manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and smaller amounts of potassium, selenium, and calcium.
2 Health Benefits
With all the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, chickpeas have a ton of health benefits.(2)
2.1 Promote heart health
Chickpeas are high in fiber and provide 16% of your daily requirement in half a cup. About a third of the fiber in chickpeas is soluble fiber. Eating soluble fiber can lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels and offers some protection against weight gain and diseases like diabetes. Studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber diet typically have a lower risk of heart disease.(3)
2.2 Regulate blood sugar
Like other legumes, chickpeas contain resistant starch, which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates. Some resistant starch is not digested at all in the small intestine.
Substituting legumes for faster-digesting carbohydrates has been shown in studies to improve glycemic control by increasing insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.(8)
2.3 Improve colon health
This resistant starch in chickpeas travels to the colon during digestion, where it serves as food for the colon bacteria, much like other dietary fibers.
Consuming foods high in resistant starches can improve digestive health by promoting a healthy gut flora.(3)
2.4 Helping with weight control
Foods high in fiber and protein can help you feel fuller and consume fewer calories overall. Soluble fiber in chickpeas attracts water, creating a gel-like consistency in the digestive system that slows digestion and makes you feel full between meals.
Research comparing chickpeas to white bread found that study participants who ate chickpeas had better glycemic control and were better able to restrain appetite and calorie intake.(9)
Research has found that including legumes (including chickpeas) in a diet leads to weight loss even when the diet is not designed for calorie restriction.(10)
Like soy and peanuts, chickpeas are legumes. Both are top allergens. A chickpea allergy is usually seen as a cross-reaction in people who already have a known allergy to soy, peas, lentils or hazelnuts.
If you have an allergy to any of these foods, particularly peas or lentils, or experience symptoms after eating chickpeas, get tested by your doctor to determine what’s safe for you.(11)
4 Adverse Effects
Chickpeas, like other beans and high-fiber foods, can cause some gut upsets like gas. You can avoid these symptoms by gradually incorporating high-fiber foods into your diet.
5 different varieties
There are two varieties of chickpeas: the light-colored variety sold primarily in the Middle East and North America, and the darker chickpeas (also called desi) found in India, Pakistan, and Ethiopia.
There is also chickpea flour, which is often used in Indian curries as a thickening agent. This type of flour has half the carbohydrates of wheat flour and is high in fiber and gluten-free.
Chickpeas are available both dried and canned. While canned products are often convenient, they contain more sodium than dried varieties. A can of chickpeas can contain up to 622 mg of sodium. To reduce up to 40% of the excess sodium, you should drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly with water.
6 Storage and Food Safety
Store dried chickpeas in a cool, dark place. Once opened, place in a tightly sealed container.
Canned chickpeas can be stored in the pantry or cupboard and are good until their sell-by date.
7 Prepare chickpeas properly
If using dried chickpeas, soak them before cooking:
Search the package and remove any grains, pebbles, or other debris. Wash the chickpeas: Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Remove any skins or other parts that float on the surface. Now put the chickpeas in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Return the chickpeas to a bowl and cover with fresh, cold water, about 3 cups per cup of chickpeas. Soak the chickpeas overnight Before using, drain the chickpeas through a sieve and discard the water.
Or save time by using a quick soak method:
- Rinse and sort the chickpeas.
- Put the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with enough cold water so that it is about 5 cm higher.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes
- Remove from heat, cover and soak for about 1 hour
- Drain soaking water before use.
- Cook chickpeas as usual.
Note that about ¼ cup of dried chickpeas yields ¾ cup of cooked chickpeas. If you’re using canned chickpeas, simply drain and rinse before using.
Chickpeas can be used in salads, soups, stews, chillies, casseroles or as an addition to grain dishes. Combining mashed chickpeas with tahini creates hummus. Hummus tastes delicious as a vegetable dip and is a very protein and fiber-rich snack.
8 chickpea recipes
Healthy Chickpea Recipes to Try:
- Broccoli chickpea stir fry with rice
- Chickpeas with baked tomato sauce
- Colorful chickpea salad
- Quinoa with chickpea tomato sauce
- Chickpea taquitos
- Chickpea curry with spinach
- Chickpea Fattoush
- Sweet potato curry with chickpeas
- Quinoa with chickpeas
- roasted chickpeas
- Creamy peanut butter pasta
- Sweet potato burger with avocado dressing
- Indian curry
- Protein Chocolate Cookies
- Pasta with pesto and arugula
health is delicious
Integrating healthy foods into your diet is often easier than you think. Combinations of healthy and nutritious foods enliven everyday life, provide more energy and pleasure when eating. Because food should not only be healthy, but taste good, give you strength and make you happy.