Like other legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain several key vitamins and minerals. They can be a healthful addition to a balanced diet.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a type of legume. The most common type has a round shape and a beige color, but other varieties are black, green, or red. Their nutrients have various health benefits.
This article looks at why chickpeas can be a healthy choice and how to cook with them.
Chickpeas contain a range of nutrients, including protein, which is necessary for bone, muscle, and skin health.
For people who do not eat meat or who are cutting down on meat consumption, a dish of chickpeas and rice, for example, can contribute a significant amount of protein to the diet. A cup of chickpeas provides almost
The nutrients in chickpeas may also help prevent or benefit several health conditions, which we list below.
One cup of chickpeas, weighing 164 grams (g), provides
Fiber may benefit people with diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association recommends legumes such as chickpeas as a source of dietary fiber.
A 2021 review of studies concluded that eating pulses long-term may help improve glycemic control, reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and help regulate body weight.
Chickpeas can also play a role in a healthy diabetes meal plan.
The iron, calcium, and other nutrients in chickpeas can all contribute to healthy bone structure and strength. Legumes such as chickpeas can play a role in the diet of people who want to prevent osteoporosis.
To prevent high blood pressure, experts
A cup of chickpeas, weighing 164 g, provides
People who use canned chickpeas should check how much added sodium they contain. Cooking with dry chickpeas or those with lower added sodium can help limit the amount of salt in a meal.
Adults should keep their
The fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium in chickpeas all support heart health.
According to a
Free radicals are toxic substances that accumulate in the body as a result of metabolism and other factors. As these toxins build up, they can damage cells and lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer.
Selenium and beta carotene in chickpeas act as antioxidants, which help the body remove free radicals.
A cup of chickpeas contains
In addition, chickpeas are a good source of fiber, and a 2015
The authors of the review suggest that chickpeas may benefit cholesterol due to their dietary fiber and protein content, along with enzyme inhibitors and tannins.
A cup of chickpeas contains 70.2 mg of choline, which helps with brain and nervous system function. Choline plays a role in mood, muscle control, learning, and memory, as well as the body’s metabolism.
The ODS recommends that adults consume
Digestion and regularity
Fiber helps keep the digestive tract healthy and promotes regularity and ease. Chickpeas and other legumes are a good source of fiber.
Studies outlined in the
Weight management and satiety
Dietary fibers function as bulking agents in the digestive system. Bulking agents increase the feeling of fullness after eating, and protein has the same effect.
Feeling fuller for longer after eating can help reduce the appetite and lower a person’s caloric intake.
Pulses, such as chickpeas, contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which can delay stomach emptying and slow the rate at which digested food travels through the small intestine, according to a
Reduce chance of anemia
Without iron, the body cannot deliver oxygen to its cells, and this can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include weakness and tiredness. In severe cases, life threatening complications can arise.
A cup of chickpeas contains
Eating chickpeas regularly may help reduce the chance of developing an iron deficiency.
The following table shows the
|Nutrients||1 cup of chickpeas (164 g)||Requirements per day|
|Fat (g)||4.25||20–35% of daily calories should be fat|
|Carbohydrates (g)||44.9, including 7.9 g of sugar||130|
|Vitamin C (mg)||2.1||75–90|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||26.2|
|Vitamin E (mg)||0.6||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||6.6||75–120|
For people following a vegan or vegetarian diet, adding chickpeas to their diet may provide protein, iron, selenium, and B vitamins.
People can buy dried or canned chickpeas year-round in grocery stores. Their nutty flavor and buttery texture make them easy to add to any meal.
Preparing dried chickpeas
1. Sort and wash: Depending on the supplier, there may be small rocks, dust, or other debris in the package.
2. Soak: Leave the chickpeas in water overnight or until they split easily between the fingers. Soaking dried legumes reduces the cooking time, helps break down ingredients that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, and removes some harmful substances in raw legumes.
3. Cook: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and then place them in a pan with plenty of water. Simmer on the stove until tender. Remember to top up the water from time to time. Other options include using a pressure cooker for 1 hour or in a slow cooker for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat.
Tips for eating
Quick tips for incorporating cooked or canned chickpeas into a diet include:
- tossing chickpeas, vegetables, and a variety of other legumes — such as beans and lentils — in vinaigrette to make a protein-rich salad
- sprinkling some canned or roasted chickpeas into a salad to add texture and a nutty flavor
- using chickpea flour when baking to add fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals
- blending chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini to make hummus, which can be a dip or spread
- adding chickpeas to a vegetable soup or stew to add nutrients, and serving with whole grain rice for complete protein
- using chickpeas to replace some or all of the meat in soups and stews
- mixing chickpeas with any spice for a delicious side or snack
- making falafel by mashing chickpeas with cumin, garlic, chili, and coriander, separating the mixture into small balls, and frying them until crisp
Or, try some of these healthy recipes:
People should not eat raw chickpeas or other raw pulses, as they can contain toxins and substances that are difficult to digest.
Even cooked chickpeas have complex sugars that can be difficult to digest and lead to intestinal gas and discomfort.
A person should Introduce legumes into the diet slowly for the body to get used to them.
Fiber and IBS
Some types of fiber may
Anyone with this condition should consult a doctor for advice about which forms of fiber to consume.
People with allergies to other legumes, such as peas, lentils, and lupines, may also be allergic to chickpeas. People who have an allergy to other legumes should not eat chickpeas as severe allergic reactions can occur.
Chickpeas and potassium
Beta-blockers are a type of medication that doctors often prescribe for heart disease. They can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood.
Potassium can help manage blood pressure, but too much can harmful the kidneys. People who use beta-blockers should consume high potassium foods, such as chickpeas, in moderation.
I have heard that people can die from not boiling kidney beans long enough. Is this also true of chickpeas?
It is not a concern for chickpeas. Red kidney beans have high amounts of phytohaemagglutinin, which interferes with cellular metabolism. Chickpeas do not contain this substance.