10 Most Important Things You Should Know About Chickpea
Chickpeas are consumed as a staple food in the Middle East and South Asian countries. This plant has been cultivated for over 9,000 years. Lebanon, Australia, India, Canada, Spain, and Mexico are the largest producers of chickpeas in the world. Chickpeas have nutty, buttery flavor. Chickpeas have many health benefits, with very few side effects. Here are some other important things you should know about chickpeas:
1. Nutrient profile
1 cup of chickpeas contains 269 calories,4 g fat, 12 g of dietary fiber,15 g of proteins,45 g of carbohydrate, 44.3 IU of vitamin A, 2.1 mg vitamin C, 477 mg potassium, 2.5 mg zinc, 1.7 mg manganese 0.6 mg vitamin E, 282 mcg folate, 70.2 mg choline, 80.4 mg calcium, 78.7 mg magnesium, 276 mg phosphorus, 4.7 mg iron,0.9 mg thiamine and 6.6 mcg vitamin K.
2. Chronic diseases
Chickpeas are packed with fiber, protein, folate and antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, or cataracts. Chickpeas contain polyphenols, phytonutrients, and beta-carotene. These powerful antioxidants can neutralize oxidative stress – main factor which triggers many chronic diseases.
3. They help to stabilize blood sugar levels
Chickpeas contain fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Also, if you have type 2 diabetes, try incorporating more high-fiber foods in your diet.
4. Digestion improvement
Chickpeas beneficial fiber helps promote healthy digestion. A good digestive functioning indicates a good general health. Adding fiber to the diet may help to increase the stool’s bulk. So, it is important to keep the gastrointestinal system in a good state.
5. Weight loss
Numerous studies have shown that chickpeas can actually help you with losing weight. Chickpeas are high in fiber, which can help you feel satiated for longer.
6. Heart health
Chickpeas are high magnesium, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Low magnesium levels can increase the risk for heart attacks other cardiovascular diseases.
Chickpeas are also rich in folate, which helps to lower the level of the amino acid, homocysteine. High-level of homocysteine is considered as a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke. Also, chickpeas contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower inflammatory levels and protect the heart from damage.
7. They help lower your cholesterol
Chickpeas are high in fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decreases the risk of stroke.
8. Chickpeas are a super food for women who are pregnant
Chickpeas are considered one of the best foods during pregnancy. It contains the folate-a type of vitamin B which is really beneficial for the health of women. Folate deficiency may seriously lead to neural tube defects and trigger many problems for the health of unborn babies.
9. Stomach cramps
Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can cause bloating and stomach cramps. Ingesting more fiber than your body is accustomed to can cause diarrhea, gas and upset stomach.
10. Legume allergy
If you have a legume allergy, talk with your doctor before eating chickpeas. Symptoms can include stomach cramps, develop diarrhea, skin itchiness, hives, trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, coughing, headaches and nasal congestion.