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Natural wonder – chickpeas

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Chickpeas (channa), aka garbanzo beans are those legumes that have immense benefits on your health. Being a storehouse of minerals, vitamins, fibres and proteins, you can consume them regularly to shield yourself from a wide range of health complications on a long term. It’s one of the most popular legumes and you will find them in any grocery or departmental stores. Let’s find out what natural wonders they bring out...

Treat yourself with goodness of fibres

Chickpeas are full of both soluble and insoluble fibres. Thus, they not only regularize your bowel movements but also function to lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Fibres preserve health of your intestine and colon. It relieves constipation and protects against diverticulitis.

A research study from Journal of American Dietetic Association showed that, around 700 g of chickpeas weekly effectively reduced the cholesterol levels of participants by an average of 16 mg/dl.”

Boosts iron in your body

If you have been suffering from hemoglobin deficiency and are anemic, then start popping some chickpeas every day. It would suffice for your daily iron requirement. Other than that, it’s also a healthy food for pregnant and menstruating women.

Stabilizes blood sugar

Soluble fibers present in chickpeas help to stabilize blood sugar levels since they are digested very slowly. Boiled chickpeas are healthy for diabetic patients. If you consume chickpeas along with other legumes daily, then you are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in the near future.  

Helps to manage weight

Chickpeas have very low Glycaemic Index and hence, one can have them as snacks without worrying about putting on weight. Since it’s a chewy variety, you tend to take longer time to eat which in a way satiates your hunger pangs completely. Lastly, the fibers keep you full, thereby controlling your appetite. So include chick pea in your low calorie menu.

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Chickpeas fulfill protein needs of your body

Especially, when vegetarians look for protein rich foods then they must choose to eat chickpeas. Being laden with proteins, this legume can adequately fulfill the protein requirement of your body. Those who are into body building activities can treat themselves with a cup regularly.

Chickpeas are heart smart legumes

Folic acid and magnesium lower homocysteine level in blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine contribute to deposition of plaque inside arteries, leading to a disease called atherosclerosis. The antioxidants also protect the heart from inflammatory disease. So have a moderate amount of chickpeas to maintain health of your heart.

Miscellaneous Health Benefits

  • The antioxidants saponin reduces chances of having breast and colon cancer
  • Molybdenum contained in chickpea counters harmful effects of sulfites present in certain foods and drinks (wine)
  • Since chickpea is rich in tryptophan, it can induce sleep. Tryptophan is the precursor for serotonin- the mood and sleep enhancing hormone
  • The mineral load of iron, calcium and magnesium promotes bone health and  therefore suggested to women who are at high risk of having osteoporosis
  • Chickpeas should be included in the diet of pregnant women as folate is essential for development of baby

Now that you know all the natural wonders of chickpea so well, you can serve yourself with some delightful recipes. However, do not go overboard with eating because too much causes flatulence. Soak them overnight and have it the next day either as boiled, cooked or simply raw.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 27, 2015

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