Chickpeas: Benefits And Harms

Chickpeas, chickpeas – all these names refer to the same legume known to mankind since the time of Avicenna. In the countries of Asia Minor and the Middle East, chickpeas are valued for their delicate nutty flavor, unpretentiousness in cultivation, and high yield. The famous hummus is made from chickpeas.

Nowadays, chickpeas are easy to find on store shelves in any part of the world. They are beans shaped like a ram’s head with a beak, yellow, green, or brown in color.

There are many varieties of chickpeas:

  • Kabuli – has round yellow peas, large in size with a thin, delicate shell.
  • Desi – characterized by dark beans with a rough, thick shell, has a distinctive delicate taste and aroma that can lower blood sugar levels.

Chickpeas are a high-quality, easily digestible vegetable protein that is ranked on par with poultry and some meat products. Chickpeas are one of the staple foods for vegans, vegetarians, raw foodists, and anyone who does not eat meat for any reason. The fiber contained in chickpeas helps to gently cleanse the intestines, eliminate toxins, and prevent constipation.

Nutritional value of chickpeas

Chickpeas contain 18 amino acids, including all essential ones. Chickpeas contain vitamins: B1, B2, PP, B5, B6, B9, C, A, E, K, beta-carotene, and choline; macro- and microelements: potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper. Chickpeas contain isoflavones.

Nutritional value of chickpeas per 100 g:

  • Proteins 20.47 g
  • Fats 6.04 g
  • Carbohydrates 62.95 g
  • Fiber 12.2 g.

Calorie content per 100 g is 378 kcal.

The calorie content of cooked chickpeas per 100 g is 164 kcal.

Useful properties of chickpeas

Dietary fiber in chickpeas is both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers form a gel-like mass in the digestive tract that removes toxins from the intestines with cholesterol and bile. And insoluble fibers stimulate the activity of the gastrointestinal tract and provide easy bowel movements, carrying away toxins.

Due to their high iron content, chickpeas are useful for women. Iron mineral salts are consumed in large quantities during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation. Chickpeas prevent anemia and stimulate hemoglobin production.

The high concentration of manganese promotes energy production by the body, normalizes the nervous system, and strengthens the immune system.

Chickpeas are an indispensable product for people who refuse to eat meat. Beans supply the body with lean protein and lysine, an amino acid responsible for tissue repair, muscle building, and the production of enzymes and antibodies. Even those who adhere to a raw food diet eat chickpeas by soaking them in water.

Harm and contraindications of chickpea consumption

The only harm that can be caused by eating chickpeas is the increased ability of the product to produce gas in the intestines. In order to avoid flatulence, it is not recommended to eat chickpeas with fruit, as well as to drink them with liquid. To prevent increased gas formation, eat dill or fennel with chickpeas, and drink water no earlier than 15 minutes after eating chickpea dishes. Neutralization of the negative effects of chickpeas on the intestines occurs after soaking the beans overnight in cold water.

Important contraindications:

  • Individual intolerance.
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Cholecystitis.
  • Kidney pathology.

In childhood, the consumption of chickpeas is limited, as the child’s body is in the process of development, and the unformed digestive system may react negatively to the new product. The warning applies only to preschool children. Younger schoolchildren and teenagers may find this product a source of protein for their growing bodies.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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