Chickpeas, the wonder bean

Chickpeas has many health benefits

Chickpeas

Whatever may be the moniker — chickpeas, channa or garbanzo beans — this nutrient-dense legume is popular around the world. Though chickpeas come in green, yellow, red and black colours, the most common is the light-coloured kabuli channa, and the darker desi version.

The nutritional chart of chickpeas is an impressive one as it provides a spectrum of essential elements of our dietary requirement: carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, minerals and vitamins. In combination, these nutrients keep the body functioning at an optimum. Here are the many benefits of chickpeas:

Low GI carbs-high fibre: A cup of cooked channa contains complex carbohydrates of nearly 15% of our daily requirement, and 50% dietary fibre. This combination provides a sustained fuel to the body, balances blood sugar levels, keeps cravings at bay, clears bowels, and maintains a healthy gut.

Low fat-high fibre: The 7% fat and zero cholesterol in chickpeas ensure there is no plaque build-up in the arteries. The fibre binds with fatty acids in the stomach to form a substance which keeps cholesterol levels under check.

Proteins-folate: These two together provide essential amino acids. The high-protein content (30%) along with 71% folate builds muscle, repairs damaged cells, inhibits cancerous growth of cells, creates haemoglobin and antibodies in the blood.

Vitamins-minerals: This small seed offers a range of minerals — iron, phosphorous, manganese, copper and zinc along with vitamins B6, K, thiamine and riboflavin in sufficient quantities. The minerals protect against damage due to free radicals, help wounds heal faster, assist in the production of haemoglobin, and duplicating DNA material.

However you may choose to reach out to a bowl of this superfood — dal, chole, hummus or usal — chickpeas are sure to add a healthy punch to your diet.

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Chickpeas, the wonder bean

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