You can call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans but make sure you add these legumes to your diet! They are as tasty as they are healthy. Chickpeas are one of the oldest cultivated food in the middle east and they have been a favorite for centuries!
Health benefits of chickpeas
The chickpea is high in fiber and protein and they are low on the glycemic index. This is a very powerful combination that has the ability to help control weight. Nutritionists suggest that 1/2 cup of chickpeas on a daily basis can help to control your hunger pangs. The fiber and protein will help to keep you feeling full which results in fewer calories consumed
Research has found that people who regularly consume chickpeas can lower the bad cholesterol (ldl) and total cholesterol as well. Chickpeas contain a fair amount of folate and magnesium. Studies show that folate has the ability to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine and will strengthen blood vessels. Researchers believe that chickpeas help to lower the risk of heart attack.
Found in chickpeas is a phytochemical called saponins which research shows acts as an antioxidant. Saponins help to lower the risk of breast cancer, helps to protect against osteoporosis. An added bonus of the saponins is the minimization of hot flushes in post-menopausal women.
Immune system health
Chickpeas are an excellent natural source of zinc and copper. Both zinc and copper are essential for the development and function of immune cells. Nutritionists have found that one cup of cooked chickpeas delivers roughly 30% of the daily value for copper and nearly 20% of the daily value for zinc.
Great source of iron
One of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world is iron deficiency. It is a leading cause of anemia. Chickpeas contain high amounts of absorbable iron. Research shows that a cup of cooked chickpeas contains nearly 26% of the daily value for iron. This iron is called non-heme iron which means it is not as easily absorbed as other irons found in animal based foods.
Become your own health hero by adding the chickpea to your diet. Used in salads, dips, snacks or main courses, the chickpea is a versatile, tasty and healthy addition to your regular diet.
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