Health Benefits Of Chickpeas

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans – also known as “that thing in hummus” – originated in the Middle East. Popular for their weight loss properties, chickpeas travelled to the rest of the world to become a prominent part of our everyday diet. Whether it’s in a salad or a dip, the nutty flavor of chickpeas can be a treat. They’re not only tasty but also a reservoir of essential nutrients. Here are some reasons to eat chickpeas on a regular basis.

1. Aids Weight Loss

A small cup of chickpeas can load you with energy and keep you satiated for a long time. They have a low energy density, which means fewer calories. Chickpeas are also high in fiber and protein, so they’ll fill you up and keep you from overeating. In fact, a study found that individuals who consumed chickpea had a healthy weight and were 53% less likely to be obese. A good trick for weight loss is to replace your mayonnaise dip with hummus. It’s not only more delicious but also healthier!

2. Manages Type 2 Diabetes

If you’re suffering from type 2 diabetes, you might want to give chickpea a try! Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Since type 2 diabetes is dependent on lifestyle and diet, experts emphasize the importance of including pulses like chickpeas in the diet to manage the blood sugar levels. Known for their low glycemic index and hypoglycemic ability, chickpeas can provide steady energy while bringing down your blood sugar levels.

3. Improves Digestion And Eases Constipation

Most of us face digestion-related issues on a regular basis. If you’ve been feeling sick and constipated of late, chickpeas might, quite literally, help you ease the tension! Chickpeas are high in insoluble fiber, which is essential for digestion and smooth passage of stool. While chickpeas can provide relief from constipation, ensure you don’t eat them in excess, as it could result in gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. Also, drink enough water to balance the high fiber diet.

4. Keeps Your Heart Healthy

If you have a high cholesterol level, you could be at an increased risk of heart disease. Research indicates that a diet rich in pulses like chickpeas can lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” without affecting the levels of HDL or “good cholesterol.” By removing cholesterol buildup and clearing clogged arteries, the soluble fiber in chickpeas can lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

5. Aids Iron Absorption And Prevents Anemia

A medical condition in which your RBC or hemoglobin count is less than normal, anemia affects over 24% of the population – both men and women. The most common cause of anemia is iron-deficiency. A bowl of cooked chickpeas meets 29% of your daily iron requirement, thus preventing anemia. Also, chickpeas are rich in molybdenum (164% DV), an element that’s required for iron metabolism. An important catalyst for an enzyme reaction, molybdenum facilitates the breakdown of certain amino acids in the body.

6. Improves Bone Health

To reduce your risk of osteoporosis and keep your bones strong, eat a bowl of chickpeas every day. Chickpeas are rich in protein and manganese, both of which promote bone health and reduce your risk of fractures. Research indicates that a high-protein diet is associated with lesser incidences of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

7. Reduces Menstrual Cramps

While period cramps and PMS are a part and parcel of menstruation, there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort. One of them is to eat foods that reduce the activity of prostaglandins, the inflammatory substances responsible for the pain. Chickpeas are high in fiber and vitamin B6, both of which can reduce menstrual cramps and help deal with PMS.

8. Helps Cope With Menopause

If you’re hitting menopause, you could be feeling tired, anxious, and irritable for no apparent reason. The lack of estrogen can cause several physiological and psychological changes in your body and even put you at an increased risk of certain diseases. Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is usually recommended for treating menopausal symptoms in women. But what if you’re not comfortable with this artificial hormonal therapy? Chickpeas to the rescue again! Chickpeas contain isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that mimic the properties of estrogen and reduce menopause-related discomfort.

9. Fights Cancer

With research stating that about 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, it’s important that you take measures to reduce your risk. Chickpeas are believed to fight cancer, especially that of the colon. When you eat chickpeas, a salt called butyrate is produced in your body. And butyrate, according to some studies, can stop the multiplication of cancer cells and kill them. Chickpeas also contain compounds like lycopene, Biochanin A, and saponin, which are believed to have anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, the isoflavones present in chickpeas are also believed to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer.

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