Garbanzos have a delicious nutlike taste and a texture that is buttery, yet somewhat starchy and pasty. A very versatile legume, they are a noted ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, falafels and curries. While many people think of chickpeas as being in beige in color, other varieties feature colors such as black, green, red and brown.
Health Benefits of Chickpeas
- 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
- 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. They
have low GI value of 28 – 32 means the carbohydrate in them is broken down
and digested slowly. This is helpful for weight loss as it controls
- 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
- 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.