Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have spread their culinary influence across the world. They also come with a range of potential health benefits.
Though the most common type of chickpea appears round and beige, other varieties can be black, green, and red.
Like other legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, and contain several key vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we will give a nutritional breakdown of chickpeas and explain their potential health benefits.
Fast facts on chickpeas:
Here are some key points about chickpeas. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Chickpeas are sometimes known as garbanzo beans.
They are featured extensively in the Mediterranean diet and Middle-Eastern food.
They are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Soak them in water for 8 to 10 hours before cooking for the best results.
chickpeas in a bowl
Though the most common type of chickpea appears round and beige, other varieties include colors such as black, green, and red.
Chickpeas have been associated with a number of possible health benefits.
Chickpeas are particularly high in fiber. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels.
For people with type 2 diabetes, higher fiber intake may improve blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a minimum of 21 to 25 grams (g) of fiber per day for women and 30 to 38 g per day for men.
2) Bone health
The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Though phosphate and calcium are both important in bone structure, the careful balance of the two minerals is necessary for proper bone mineralization – consumption of too much phosphorus with too little calcium intake can result in bone loss.
Bone matrix formation requires the mineral manganese, and iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen.
Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good bone health because it improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium, making sure that enough calcium is available for building and repairing bone. Low intake of vitamin K is associated with a higher risk for bone fracture.