The chickpea is one of the legumes whose main characteristic is that it provides a high content of nutrients, which can provide numerous benefits to the body.

In the following article, we give you all the scientifically proven information about chickpeas, which can be very useful for your health.

What is chickpea?

The chickpea is a plant whose origin is located in Turkey. A pod is formed from it, inside which two or three seeds of the same name will be found.

Note: The nutritional characteristic of chickpeas to highlight is that the seed has a high content of vegetable protein and fiber , substances that are part of the structure of muscles and tissues.

Therapeutically, the consumption of this food provides many benefits to people, since its nutrients help prevent cardiovascular and digestive diseases, as well as strengthen other organic functions.

What are the health benefits of chickpea?

This legume has many chemical and nutritional components that help prevent many pathologies, the benefits of which we mention below:

1. Lowers the risk of heart disease

Diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of many pathologies, including heart disease. In this sense, the consumption of chickpeas in the daily diet is indicated, since it is a legume that does not provide cholesterol.

Chickpeas provide vitamins such as ascorbic acid and tocopherol, nutrients with antioxidant action and that prevent the formation of atheromas in the walls of veins and arteries , which cause different pathologies in the heart. It also provides minerals and folic acid, which contribute to blood health.

To highlight: The soluble fiber content (pectin) helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol through the intestines, favoring heart health . (1)

2. Lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose

The consumption of chickpeas together with the peel, provides the body with antioxidants that prevent the degradation of lipids that cause the formation of bad cholesterol and the appearance of fatty plaques on the endothelium, guaranteeing a constant and dynamic flow of blood, thus regulating blood pressure.

On the other hand, the contribution of dietary fiber helps to reduce the absorption of fats through the intestine and also reduces the absorption of sugars through the same route, preventing diseases such as diabetes.

Note: Soluble fiber decreases the absorption of sugars into the body through the intestines, regulating the level of glucose in the blood. (two)

3. Promotes good digestive function

As an important source of fiber, the consumption of chickpeas is indicated to promote digestion, since it has in its composition soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and enough water.

The soluble fiber present in this legume produces a viscosity that slows gastric emptying and increases its distension, prolonging the feeling of satiety . For its part, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation by increasing the passage of feces and reducing the duration of intestinal transit. (3)

Important: Chickpeas do not contain gluten, which is why this food is indicated for people with celiac disease. (4)

4. Strengthens bone health

Thanks to its calcium and phosphorus content, chickpea consumption is appropriate for bone health. In addition, the chickpea contains other micronutrients such as vitamin K, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and zinc, which are those that contribute to the construction and maintenance of bone structure and resistance.

Note: Chickpeas have a supply of vitamin C, a nutrient that participates in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that gives elasticity to the bones.

5. Fight anemia

The chickpea represents one of the foods with the highest source of iron and folic acid, nutrients necessary for the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin for our blood. The presence of vitamin C helps the absorption of iron in the body.

The presence of these micronutrients prevents diseases such as iron deficiency anemia, caused by iron deficiency in the body. (5)

To highlight: This food provides 67% iron of the recommended daily intake per 100 grams of edible portion.

6. Contributes to weight loss

Chickpeas in their nutritional composition contain carbohydrates, an interesting source of fuel, allowing people to have a constant amount of energy to carry out their physical activities and thus contribute to weight loss.

This grain does not contain saturated fat and also contains dietary fiber, with the benefits that it provides. We must also highlight the important presence of vegetable proteins, macronutrients for the formation of muscle mass.

Important: Chickpeas are a source of micronutrients necessary for the nervous system, ideal for dealing with situations of physical and psychological stress.

7. Promotes pregnancy

This grain contains nutritional properties that help in the gestation stage. This legume provides calcium, iron and folic acid as well as vitamins A, C and D, essential micronutrients for the development of the fetus and for the prevention of neural tube defects. (6)

Note: This legume has a contribution of 10% of the daily intake needs for every 100 grams of edible portion of folate.

8. Protects against free radical damage

As explained previously, chickpeas have antioxidant compounds that enhance the protective work of the immune system. 

In addition to vitamin C and vitamin E, it has phenols, flavonoids and tannins, chemical elements that act against free radical damage. This property prevents oxidative damage to healthy cells and their premature aging.

Note: The greatest presence of antioxidants in chickpeas is found in the husk. (7)

Chickpea properties

The healthy effects in the consumption of chickpeas for human health originate from its chemical and nutritional components that we mention below:

1. Vitamins

This wonderful food has the following vitamins in its composition: Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folates, vitamins C, A and tocopherol.

Note: With a greater presence in this legume is folic acid with 180 mcg per 100 grams of edible portion.

2. Minerals

Regarding these micronutrients, chickpeas have a contribution of the following minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus and selenium.

To highlight: Iron is most representative with 6.2 mcg per 100 grams of edible portion and phosphorus with 375 mcg in the same proportion.

Additionally, chickpeas are a source of water, carbohydrates, protein, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (8)

How is the chickpea consumed?

This is one of the foods that is widely used in traditional cooking. The chickpea grains to be consumed must be soaked in advance between 12 and 24 hours. After this, you can prepare them in various recipes such as fried, cooked, mashed, stewed or any idea you have in mind. 

The usual presentation of chickpeas is in raw grain, but there is also a commercial form in flour, ideal for preparing breaded foods, snacks, tortillas, among others.

Important: Legumes such as chickpeas cannot be eaten raw, as they contain lectin, a protein that can cause reactions in our immune system and intestinal inflammation.

Key Findings

  • Chickpea is an important source of vegetable protein and dietary fiber . 
  • It is an ideal food for the daily diet, since it provides essential vitamins and minerals for the body. 
  • This legume provides enough micronutrients to prevent congenital diseases during pregnancy.
  • Chickpeas are ideal for preventing cardiometabolic diseases and iron deficiency.
  • The chickpea is an ideal source of energy for the body due to its carbohydrate content.

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