We’ve talked about the benefits of olive oil and tahini, and why choosing organic (and keeping glyphosate out of your diet) is important. But, we’ve never talked about the benefits of chickpeas.
The list of chickpeas’ nutritional benefits is a mile long – it’s packed with fiber, protein, potassium, copper, zinc, and more. Not to mention, they are downright delicious. Let’s take a look at this tiny, but mighty legumes.
Chickpea's Health Benefits: The Nutrition
It’s incredible how such a tiny little bean can be packed
with so much nutrition. Here are 7 benefits of chickpeas:
Chickpeas are a good source of fiber. While one serving has 4% of your daily fiber intake, let’s be honest: Who only eats 2 tablespoons of hummus?
Did you know that chickpeas area great source for copper? They provide 305mcg of copper for every 100 grams of chickpeas. Copper isn’t discussed enough, as it’s extremely important for your health. Your body needs copper to do many things, including making blood vessels, connective tissues, and energy. It alsy plays a role in maintaining your nervous and immune systems, as well as aiding in brain development and the activation of genes.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral for our bodies, and chickpeas are a fantastic source. A half-cup of chickpeas contains a whopping 1.3 mg of zinc. This powerful mineral plays a huge role in our immune system as well as the healing of wounds.
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein. In fact, they’re known as a complete protein, because they “contain all nine essential amino acids.” These amino acids are the building blocks of our bodies, helping them to function properly. That’s a win.
Potassium is a mineral that is essential for all the tissues in our bodies. It helps us maintain normal levels of fluid in our cells. It also helps support normal blood pressure, as well as helps our muscles contract. A cup of chickpeas provides 477 mg of potassium.
In every cup of cooked chickpeas, there is 78.72 mg of magnesium. Magnesium plays a critical role in our health, from helping us convert food into energy, regulating our nervous system, helping our muscles to contract and relax, and the creation of new proteins from amino acids, to help combat depression, it really is essential for our health.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of iron: in each cup of cooked chickpeas, you can find 4.2-4.7 mg of iron. Iron is an important mineral that helps maintain healthy blood. Which is obviously essential for life. So…in a way, you can say that chickpeas are essential for life.
So, as you can see, there are many nutrients in chickpeas (and these are just 7 – there are many more nutrients in these powerhouses). Knowing the exact minerals and vitamins in chickpeas is great, but what do those nutrients actually mean for daily life? Here are 7 health benefits of eating chickpeas.
1. Chickpeas Help with Digestion
As we mentioned above, chickpeas contain a lot of fiber – especially something called raffinose, which is a soluble fiber. This is broken down by the good bacteria in your gut, so you colon can digest the chickpeas slowly. Your gut is the root of health, so improving digestion is a wonderful benefit!
2. Chickpeas May Help Lower Cholesterol
Soluble fiber (which is discussed above) has been shown to reduce your total cholesterol and your LDL (this is the “bad” cholesterol), which improves cholesterol, and thus, your risk of heart disease. Who knew such a small bean could have such a big impact on your health?
3. Chickpeas May Help Control Your Weight
Because chickpeas are high in fiber, they help you to feel fuller longer. Satiety means you won’t overeat, which helps you maintain or lose weight. They’re also delicious when they’re made into hummus. You don’t have to take our word for it. A study completed in 2014 found that adults who ate hummus were “53% less likely to be obese,” and “43% less likely to be overweight or obese.” A delicious dip with a burst of flavor that also helps you manage your weight? That’s a win for everyone.
4. Chickpeas Help Control Blood Sugar
Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, meaning your body absorpbs and digests thenm slowly. Additionally, they have amylose, a type of starch in them, that also digests slowly. Basically, when you eat chickpeas, your blood sugar and insulin don’t go up too fast. This makes it a great snack for everyone, but especially for those with diabetes.
5. Chickpeas Strengthen Your Bones
As we mentioned above, chickpeas are a great source of magnesium. Additionally, they are chock full of calcium. Both these minerals are excellent for building strong bones. It’s a beautiful thing when enjoying a tasty dip results in stronger bones.
6. Chickpeas Boost Your Immune System
We discussed the trace mineral zinc above, and all the benefits it has for your body. Zinc plays an important role in your immune health, because it inhibits the replication of rhinoviruses (this is the nasty bug responsible for the common cold). Hurray for battling colds with hummus!
7. Chickpeas are an Antioxidant
Chickpeas also contain selenium, another important mineral. This one supports liver enzyme function, and “detoxifies cancer-causing compounds from the body.” It also contains folate, which aids in the formation of cancer-preventing cells in our bodies. Basically, chickpeas are tough, cancer-fighting, antioxidant-boosting powerhouses.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chickpeas Health Benefits
There are many different questions about chickpeas benefits, and we hope we’ve answered many of them for you. Here’s a list of the most common questions:
Are Chickpeas Healthy?
We hope we’ve fully established in this post that yes, chickpeas are healthy. They are packed with an impressive list of vitamins and minerals that help with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and even fighting the common cold. If you find yourself asking, “are chickpeas healthy?” you can be confident they are a great choice for your health.
Are Garbanzo Beans Healthy?
Well, since garbanzo beans aare the same thing as chickpeas (it’s just a different name), the answer remains the same: yes – garbanzo beans are an excellent food choice for your health.
Are Chickpeas a Superfood?
According to the United Nations, chickpeas are officially a superfood. That’s a pretty high honor for a little bean (yes, we know they technically aren’t beans, but “high honor for a little legume” just doesn’t have the ring to it). A “superfood” isn’t a scientific classification, but generally refers to “foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.” (Source)
Are Chickpeas Good for Weight Loss?
Chickpeas are great for weight loss, mainly because they contain fiber, which makes you feel fuller longer; satiety helps you lose or maintain weight. Additionally, chickpeas are low on the glycemic index, so they won’t raise your blood sugar.
What are the Disadvantages of Eating Chickpeas?
There are some people who shouldn’t eat chickpeas, such as those with an allergy or intolerance to legumes. Also, for those who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it might irritate your gut and cause symptoms. As always, notice how you feel after eating a food to see if it’s nourishing or not!
Chickpeas: The Healthy Foundation for Hope Hummus
Garbanzo beans truly are an amazing food. There so many benefits to eating chickpeas. There are good reasons for it being a superfood. Chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it helps your body run smoothly and gives you the energy you need for your life. You can feel confident giving it to your kids and serving it to your friends and family. Chickpeas are the foundation for Hope Hummus. Our organic chickpeas are sourced in the US, and are dried by the heat of the sun (and not harmful chemicals). We are very proud to have great relationships with our farmers that share our values of using honest ingredients. Our garbanzo beans are USDA-certified organic, which means glyphosate isn’t used, among additional standards. We’re confident in our honest ingredients and nourishing, healthy hummus. Pick up a tub of our many flavors of hummus in a store near you, or order online and have it shipped to your door. Yum!