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Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family.

While they have become more popular recently, chickpeas have been grown in Middle Eastern countries for thousands of years.

Their nutty taste and grainy texture pairs well with several other foods and ingredients.

As a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, chickpeas may offer a variety of health benefits, such as improving digestion, aiding weight management and reducing the risk of several diseases.

Additionally, chickpeas are high in protein and make an excellent replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Chickpeas have an impressive nutrition profile.

They contain a moderate amount of calories, providing 46 calories per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. Approximately 67% of those calories are from carbs, while the rest comes from protein and a small amount of fat.

Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving provides the following nutrients.

Calories: 46

Carbs: 8 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 3 grams

Folate: 12% of the RDI

Iron: 4% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 5% of the RDI

Copper: 5% of the RDI

Manganese: 14% of the RDI

May Protect Against Certain Chronic Diseases

Heart Disease

Chickpeas are a great source of several minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, which have been studied for their potential to boost heart health

This is because they may help prevent high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Additionally, the soluble fiber in chickpeas has been shown to help reduce triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which may increase heart disease risk when elevated

In one 12- week study, 45 people who ate 728 grams of chickpeas per week significantly reduced their total cholesterol levels by an average of almost 16 mg/dL

Cancer

Including chickpeas in your diet on a regular basis may help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.

First, eating chickpeas may promote the body’s production of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation in colon cells, possibly decreasing the risk of colon cancer

Furthermore, chickpeas are a source of saponins, which are plant compounds that may help prevent the development of certain cancers. Saponins have also been studied for their role in inhibiting tumor growth

Chickpeas also contain several vitamins and minerals that may lower your risk of cancer, including B vitamins, which may be responsible for reducing the risk of breast and lung cancer

Diabetes

Chickpeas have a few properties known to support blood sugar control, and thus may help prevent and manage diabetes.

The fiber and protein in chickpeas help prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating, which is an important factor in diabetes management

Additionally, their low glycemic index (GI) makes them appropriate for those with diabetes, as they are unlikely to lead to blood sugar spikes

They’re also a source of several vitamins and minerals that have been found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, including magnesium, B vitamins and zinc