Hello everyone. You might have heard your grandma stressing upon the fact that you must consume a handful of chickpeas when you were a kid. You might have heard her telling you it will make you stronger and sturdier. Well, your grandma couldn’t have been more right.
Chickpeas are delicious and full of nutritious benefits. You will be glad to know that having a handful of Chickpeas everyday is beneficial for your body and will make you stronger and sturdier. Let me enumerate the nutritious aspects of Chickpeas first.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein and fibre.
100 gms of mature boiled chickpeas contain
164 cals, 2.6 gms of fat, 7.6 gms of dietary fibre and 8.9 gms of protein.
They are a rich source of Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C and several minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron.
Vegetarians can get 50% of their daily dose of Vit B6 and about 75% of their daily dose of protein from a cupful of chickpeas.
Let me now tell you how you can make use of this storehouse of energy and include it in your daily diet and the wonders it can do for your health.
1. Chickpeas are one of the healthiest food sources of dietary fibre. The soluble fibre is a great stabiliser of blood sugar making this food a hypoglycaemia sufferer’s dream food. The fibre also helps in reducing both total and LDL cholesterol.
2. For those who suffer from constipation, chickpeas are extremely helpful. The insoluble fiber content in chickpeas helps in increasing the stool bulk, which in turn prevents constipation and other disorders of the digestive tract, including the irritable bowel syndrome.
3. Chickpeas are rich in carbohydrates and are beneficial for people sensitive to insulin and those suffering from diabetes.
4. Chickpeas are low in fat content. Hence it is an ideal choice if you wish to lose weight.
5. Chickpeas are rich in calcium and are considered by experts as equal to yogurt and milk in providing calcium to the body. A handful of soaked and boiled chickpeas, given to children help to build their bones.
6. Chickpeas are a rich source of magnesium, which is extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular health of a person. Magnesium deficiency in a person can increase the risk of heart diseases in a person.
7. Chickpeas are rich in folate and protein content. Folate is a soluble B vitamin, which is present naturally in food items and reduces the risk of colorectal cancer in people.
8. Chickpeas are rich in protein and they are the favourite choice for those keen to build muscle. Body builders can consume sprouted chickpeas which are a natural source of protein rather than artificial protein.
9. Chickpeas are rich in iron and are extremely beneficial in treatment of iron deficiency anaemia. Chickpeas increase the energy level of the body by refilling the iron stores. They are very beneficial, especially for women undergoing menstruation who are more at risk of iron deficiency.Chickpeas are a good substitute for other iron suppliers like red meat, because they are low on calories unlike other food items that supply iron. So, vegetarians can get their dose of iron from chickpeas.
10. Chickpeas are great for pregnant women and also for women reaching menopause. They help to prevent osteoporosis.
11. Chickpeas are excellent for a healthy pregnancy. Since they are a powerful source of folate and protein, they provide the essential nutrients that are required for the development of the baby.
15. Want to lose weight? Switching on to chickpeas diet would be extremely helpful. Chickpeas due to their high protein and fibre content help in controlling hunger. Salads with chickpeas as the main ingredient are a good option for a person looking for weight loss diets. Such salads are tasty and help you to feel full for a longer duration.
A very healthy snack to replace popcorn is as follows. It is more nutritious and filling as well.
Soaked and boiled chickpeas 1 cup
Oil 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Red chilli powder ˝ tsp
Dried mango powder ˝ tsp
Salt to taste
Method: Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the chilli powder and mango powder. Add the chickpeas. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Your healthy snack is ready. You can use lemon juice if mango powder is not available.
16. Chickpeas can be ground into a fine powder and the flour can be used. Chickpea flour is also widely used as a beauty aid. A tried and tested facial mask for acne is as follows.
Mix about ˝ tsp turmeric with 1tsp chickpea flour. Make a paste out of it using milk. Add a few drops of honey to it. Apply all over your face and neck and let it dry. Keep it on for 20-30 mins. Wash and watch your face glow. Washing regularly with the flour mixed with little milk helps to reduce acne.
17. Chickpeas are known to cause flatulence. To avoid it, soak them in water overnight and discard this water before boiling. Wash them thoroughly 3-4 times before boiling them.
Considering chickpeas nutritional profile, it can be concluded that it is one of most nutritious foods to have around. Including chickpeas in the diet can not only provide a high amount of proteins, but many other essential minerals and vitamins, which can facilitate the smooth functioning of the different body systems.
So go ahead and make this delicious pea a part of your daily diet.
Author’s profile: The author is a HR professional whose passion in life is to help others. She has worked as a student counsellor and has been instrumental in getting aid for several underprivileged children. Her aim is to work for children, especially the deprived ones.