Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans or Chana have long been cherished and consumed across the globe for their nutritional value and culinary versatility. These legumes have been a dietary staple for thousands of years. They offer a wealth of benefits to those who include them in their meals. Packed with plant-based protein, fibre, and an array of vital nutrients like iron, folate, and manganese, chickpeas provide a nourishing addition to various cuisines. From salads to soups, stews to curries, their adaptability knows no bounds. Moreover, according to a lot of studies, chickpeas may have a lot of health benefits. It may reduce the risk of heart disease, promote satiety, and enhance bowel function.
While their global popularity is undeniable, chickpeas hold a special place in the culinary heritage of India. Chickpeas have an integral role in Indian cuisine, carrying cultural and religious significance. They also significantly contribute to the nation’s agricultural landscape. Chickpeas are an essential and cherished crop in India. This comprehensive article delves into the world of health benefits of white chickpeas, shedding light on their nutritional impact.
Health benefits of white chickpeas
May help in diabetes and blood pressure
The consumption of chickpeas may have a positive impact on various markers of metabolic health. These include glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and lipid profiles. These effects can be a result of the high content of resistant starch and amylose in chickpeas. It results in slower digestion and absorption of glucose, as well as the presence of beneficial nutrients such as PUFA, phytosterols, and other bioactive compounds. Incorporating chickpeas into a regular diet may therefore be a useful strategy to improve metabolic health. It can also help in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
May help prevent cancer
The consumption of chickpeas may have potential health benefits due to the presence of bioactive compounds such as butyrate, β-sitosterol, saponins, lycopene, and biochanin A. Researchers suggest that butyrate can inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. This may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. β-sitosterol and saponin-rich foods may also inhibit carcinogenesis in the colon. Lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, although the results from randomised controlled trials are inconclusive. Biochanin A, a chickpea isoflavone, may inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells in vitro and reduce tumour growth in mice. Additionally, chickpea seed coat fibre may reduce the toxic effects of N-nitrosodiethylamine, a carcinogen, on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant potential in rats.
May help in weight loss
The consumption of foods that are high in dietary fibre (DF) may result in a lower body mass index (BMI). It can also lead to an increased satiety, as such foods take longer to chew and digest. This can lead to a longer-lasting feeling of fullness. Low-glycemic index (GI) foods, such as chickpeas, can increase cholecystokinin levels, a gastrointestinal peptide and hunger suppressant, leading to increased satiety and reduced insulin levels, resulting in higher weight loss compared to diets with higher-GI foods.
Studies have shown that chickpea supplementation in the diet can prevent increased body weight and the weight of adipose tissues in rats, as well as decrease fat accumulation in obese subjects, which could help correct obesity-related disorders. In a study with forty-two participants, consumption of a chickpea-supplemented diet for 12 weeks resulted in increased satiation and fullness.
Therefore, incorporating chickpeas into weight-loss programs could be an effective choice due to their low-GI nature and ability to promote satiety and decrease fat accumulation
May improve gut health
Two studies have shown that consuming chickpeas and chickpea flour leads to a significant increase (18% and 15%, respectively) in dietary fibre (DF) intake in healthy individuals. These increased levels of dietary fibre intake may result in improved bowel health, such as increased frequency and ease of defecation, as well as softer stool consistency. DF plays a key role in promoting laxation and aiding the movement of material through the digestive system.
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a nutrient-rich legume that has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. With their versatility, they can be used in various cuisines and dishes, such as hummus, salads, stews, and soups. Garbanzo beans are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can support a healthy diet and lifestyle. Incorporating garbanzo beans into your diet can not only add diversity and flavor to your meals but also offer numerous health benefits. So why not try adding some garbanzo beans to your next meal and reap the nutritional benefits?
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