Not only are they super delicious and able to lend themselves to many different flavourings these nutty beans are also rich in a number of important nutrients that support a healthy lifestyle.
So aside from being yummy chickpeas are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals — and may play a role in reducing your risk of a number of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer!
So here are our top reasons for eating handfuls upon handfuls of these delicious beans!
1) They’re a high fibre food
Fibre is one of the reasons you may want to add chickpeas to your menu. Depending on your age and gender, fibre needs range from 21 to 38 grams a day. A 1-cup serving of chickpeas provides about a third of your daily fibre needs!
Research suggest a strong an association between a higher intake of fibre and lower risk of certain types of digestive cancers, including stomach and colorectal.
2) Chickpeas are folate-rich
Folate is a critical nutrient during periods of rapid cell growth, especially during the development of a fetus. Folate also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. One cup of chickpeas meets more than 70 percent of a woman’s daily folate needs and almost 50 percent of the daily needs of a pregnant or nursing woman.
3) A Great Source of Iron
As you may already know iron helps make red blood cells and certain hormones, and it’s important for cell function and normal growth. One cup of chickpeas meets more than 25 percent of a woman’s daily iron needs and more than 50 percent of a man’s needs!
As the iron in chickpeas is nonheme iron you can improve the amount of iron your body absorbs from the beans if you combine them with a food rich in vitamin C. For example, add chickpeas to your tomato soup, or use red peppers to eat your hummus!
4) Support Blood Sugar Control
Chickpeas have several properties that may help manage your blood sugar levels.
First, they have a fairly low glycemic index (GI), which is a marker of how rapidly your blood sugar rises after eating a food. Diets including many low-GI foods have been shown to promote blood sugar management. As we have already covered chickpeas are a good source of fibre and protein, which are both known for their role in blood sugar regulation.
This is because fibre slows carb absorption, which promotes a steady rise in blood sugar levels!
5) Protect against Chronic illnesses
As we have covered above chickpeas are great at helping manage blood sugar, which is vital in preventing and managing Diabetes. Research also shows that eating chickpeas can help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.
Studies suggest that eating chickpeas may promote the body’s production of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation in colon cells, possibly decreasing the risk of colon cancer!
Chickpeas are a great source of several minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, which have been studied for their potential to boost heart health!