Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these little legumes are a tasty and healthy treat!
One of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the Mediterranean and Middle East, chickpeas have been a fan favourite for hundreds of years, spreading to cultures all over the world. They're known for their protein and fibre content, but also store lots of vitamins and nutrients in them. These yummy beans are available year-round so you can easily incorporate them into any meal.
Eat them on their own, toss them on top of a salad, blend with garlic to make hummus, or use in soup for texture and flavour - there are so many things you can do with them that you may have not known! So, it's just a plus that they contain these health benefits as well.
1. They can help you manage your weight.
Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, and they have a low glycemic index. This powerful combination can help control your weight. The fibres are important factors in weight management by acting as "bulking agents" in the digestive system and keep you feeling full. Enjoying as little as 1/2 cup (125 mL) of chickpeas daily have this effect and lower your calorie intake.
2. They promote bone health.
Get ready for this list of good stuff found in chickpeas: they contain levels of iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K! All these contribute to the maintenance of bone structure and strength according to Medical News Today. It's not only the fact that chickpeas contain all these, but the balance of them is what makes chickpeas important for bone health; if they had, for example, too much phosphate with too little calcium instead, it could have the opposite effect on your bones.
3. The fibre in them helps diabetes.
Type 1 diabetics who consume high-fibre diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar. Fibre is actually very helpful to those who are diabetic to balance their diet and levels, according to Diabetes Canada.
4. The nutrient, choline, in them does wonders!
Choline is a nutrient that can be found in chickpeas and is very important as well as versatile, touching many areas of health improvement. It can help with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. On the physical side, it can also help to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, assists in the absorption of fat (the good kind!) and reduces inflammation.
Want to incorporate more chickpeas into your diet but don't know where to start? Try out some of these tasty chickpea recipes for family dinners, snacks and more.
Mediterranean Stewed Chickpeas
Chickpea and Black Bean Salad
Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette