You’ve likely seen chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, in a number of foods lately! Sneaking their way into chips, sandwiches, and even desserts there is a reason people are turning to this healthy legume. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of chickpeas and ways to include them in your diet!
Packed with nutrients that benefit almost every part of your body, chickpeas offer a ton of health benefits including:
Chickpeas are an excellent source of dietary fiber — the portion of plant-based foods that the body can’t digest. Fiber is crucial to a healthy digestive tract and the majority of Americans don’t get enough in their diet daily. Although the body doesn’t absorb it, fiber provides a number of health benefits including eliminating waste and increasing absorption of valuable nutrients.
Stay Fuller Longer
Are you always hungry? Make sure you are getting enough fiber and protein in your diet! Chickpeas are a great way to get both, providing nearly 13 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein per cooked cup of beans. Fiber helps to slow digestion, increasing the absorption of vitamins and minerals while protein is thought to curb hunger and boost your metabolism.
Like all legumes chickpeas are a complex carbohydrate. When compared to simple carbs from refined sugar, complex carbs take longer to breakdown in your body. This helps to control blood sugar and energy levels over time.
Chickpeas have been known to benefit the heart in a number of ways. In studies, experts have found including chickpeas in your diet regularly can lower bad cholesterol. A good source of potassium and magnesium, chickpeas are also thought to help lower blood pressure.
While not present in many fruits and vegetables, chickpeas contain the mineral selenium. Selenium helps the liver to function properly and aids in detoxing harmful compounds in the body. It is thought to protect the body against contaminants and help cells defend against cancer. Selenium also plays an important part in immunity and inflammation. Additionally, chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber — possibly aiding in the prevention of colon cancer.
Inflammation and Movement
All legumes, chickpeas included, are a good source of choline. Choline enables the body to fight chronic inflammation, is important for liver function, increases your muscle movement, and is crucial to a number of other bodily functions.
There are a wealth of vitamins and minerals in chickpeas. Containing manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin K these beans help to build and maintain strong bones.
How to Enjoy Chickpeas
There are a number of ways, both savory and sweet, that you can enjoy chickpeas! Here are a few of our favorites:
Lightly Seasoned, Baked, and Crispy
Roasting your chickpeas can be a healthy way to enjoy a crunchy snack mid-afternoon. With healthy oils and seasonings added, there is a lot of room for creativity here!
Try rinsing, drying, and dry-roasting a can of cooked chickpeas at 375° F. After 30 minutes of baking remove from the oven, add 1 tablespoon of oil and your favorite seasonings. Return to the oven and cook an additional 10-15 minutes. Find the full recipe and some seasoning inspiration here.
On Bowls or Salads
Boiled or baked, chickpeas are a nutritious add on to rice bowls or salads. Try adding crispy baked chickpeas to your salad in place of croutons. You can also season boiled chickpeas and add them to brown rice with your favorite raw veggies for a healthy Buddha bowl.
In Soups and Sandwiches
You can easily incorporate chickpeas into your lunchtime favorites! These mild beans are a simple add-in to soups boiled or blended. You can also turn them into a tasty mash to be used on sandwiches.
In Sweet Snacks
Believe it or not, chickpeas make a wonderful protein packed base for healthy desserts. Especially when paired with Svelte® plant-based protein shakes! Try a few of our favorites like chocolate hummus or edible vegan and gluten-free cookie dough.