Chickpeas/ Bengal Gram/ Garbanzo
Are you aware of the fact that eating chickpeas can improve the health of your skin as well as hair? Chickpeas are a very good source of protein, vitamin B6 and Zinc. Protein is needed for hair growth, and zinc and vitamin A work together to prevent dandruff and hair loss.
Surprised? There are many more health benefits of chickpeas that you may not be aware of. Some of them are improving your heart health by lowering blood pressure and fighting against cancer. In case you are doing a lot for your skin, why try try eating chickpeas that can reduce the wrinkles in your skin.
Apart for the health benefits, who does not like the old favorite hummus and the roasted chickpeas along with your drinks. Read the entire article to know how this humble legume can not just be a tasty addition to your daily diet, but prevent a lot of diseases as well.
Chick pea or Garbanzos or the Bengal Gram; there are various names by which you would have encountered this cereal in your dishes. Whether you love your hummus or have enjoyed roasted chickpeas along with the margarita, chick peas have become omnipresent.
Initially, thought to be a poor man’s cereal (purely due to the wholesome nutrition provided), now you can find chick peas in some of the most exotic dishes across the globe.
Take this recipe, Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad, which brings a wholesome level of both nutrients as well exotic looks. There are many more ways in which chefs all across the world are exploring new recipes involving chick peas. One of the key reasons for this, apart from the health benefits of chickpeas, is the fact that they can take up any flavor that you mix them with. As a result of which, the make a perfect blend with all the ingredients.
In case you are interested in more recipes involving chick peas, you can get loads of them here. There are more than 30 of them, to keep you giving a new dish each day of the month.
However, it is not just the taste that captures the chef’s eyes, it is the health benefits of chickpeas that drive people to be creative with them. Did you know that having 3/4 of a cup of chick peas each day can lower you bad cholesterol levels? Also, in case you are a vegan, you should surely include chick peas in your diet. The primary reason for this is the high amount of non-animal protein that chick peas contain. Most non-animal derived sources of protein lack an essential amino acid called methionine. However, a combination of chick peas with whole grains such as brown rice or whole-wheat bread produces a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Therefore, it chick peas are often added to your whole grains before making a flour out of them. So if you are vegan and are looking for some protein supplements for yourself, try the chick peas first.
There are many more health benefits of chickpeas such as lowering blood pressure and improving your heart health. The high fiber content of chick peas also makes them really beneficial for diabetics. There are many more health benefits of chickpeas, that should encourage you to include it as a part of your daily diet. Read about all the health benefits of chickpeas and their nutritional value under their respective tabs.
In case you are interested in know a bit more about health benefits of chickpeas, refer to some of these links
Storage: Store garbanzo beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep for up to 12 months. If you purchase garbanzo beans at different times, store them separately since they may feature varying stages of dryness and therefore will require different cooking times.
Cleaning: Wash and soak them in water for about 8 to 10 hours before cooking in order to achieve optimum flavor and texture.
How to Buy: While buying make sure that there are no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are whole and not cracked.
Special Steps: When preparing dried chickpeas, it is important to sort pick out any small rocks or other debris that may have been wound up in the package.
TIP: Be careful not to soak them for more than 12 hours, otherwise they become mushy and bland-tasting.
This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.
Mineral Content: Chickpeas contain folate, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, choline and selenium.
Vitamin & Compounds: Chickpeas also provide vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin B6.
Carbohydrate Content: Chickpea provide 164 calories per 100 g.
Chickpeas supply a significant amount of magnesium, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health, cholesterol, diabetic health and many more.
Fiber Advantage and Weight Loss: Like other beans, Chickpeas, are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile (which contains cholesterol) and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders.
Protein for Vegetarians: Chickpeas are a good source of protein. Combined with a whole grain such as whole-wheat protein, they provide amount of protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fats.
Manganese for Energy Production: Garbanzos are an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Just one cup of garbanzo beans supplies 84.5% of the daily value for this mineral.
Iron Boost: Garbanzos can boost your energy because of their high iron content. This is particularly important for menstruating women, pregnant or lactating women and growing children. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.
Stabilizing Blood Sugar and Low Glycaemic Index (GI): Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, beans like garbanzos can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. This is helpful for weight loss as it controls appetite.
Heart Healthy: Regular intake of Chickpeas can lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol. Garbanzos contain the significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate lowers the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine and strengthens the blood vessels. Studies have found chickpeas lower the risk of heart attack.
For Women: Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants. It could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimizes hot flushes in post-menopausal women.
Weight Loss: Due to high fiber content and low GI, chickpeas are excellent for weight loss diets. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and can keep you full longer, controlling the appetite.
Bone health: The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Blood pressure: Maintaining a low-sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects.
Cancer: Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables, but can be found in chickpeas. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Additionally, selenium prevents inflammation and also decreases tumor growth rates.
Digestion and regularity: Because of their high-fiber content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Wrinkles: Manganese in chickpeas causes skin cells to produce energy and fights wrinkle-causing free radicals.
Good Sleep: As one of the richest sources of amino acids, tryptophan and serotonin, chickpeas play a vital role in regulating mood and sleep.
Immune System: Chickpeas are loaded with good iron. Iron helps transporting oxygen through the body and is imperative for maintaining a strong immune system and good metabolism.
Folic acid: Chickpeas have good quantity of folates or folic acid – regarded as the most essential nutrient for an expecting mother.
Kidney Stones: Chickpeas are excellent for preventing kidney stones.
Jaundice: Chickpeas are great for curing jaundice too. Consuming a cup of chickpeas soaked in water with jaggery can help cure jaundice and frequent vomiting associated with it.
Gas Pains: Eating certain foods, such as beans, fruits and vegetables, can increase your chances of developing gas pains. Gas pains can cause sharp pains that come and go throughout the abdomen.
Fiber: A ½ cup of garbanzo beans fulfills 36 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake for a 2,000-calorie diet. With 9 g of fiber per serving, you may experience stomach cramps from eating garbanzo beans because of the sudden increase of fiber in the digestive system.
Legume Allergy: The Cleveland Clinic states that garbanzo beans are a relative of soybeans, which may increase your risk of developing an allergy to chickpeas.
Try some of these delicious recipes of chickpeas at home.
1) Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi
2) Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas
3) Chickpea Salad
4) Middle Eastern Chickpea and Rice Stew