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Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Posted Mar 31 2010 7:55am

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the diverse legume family. Chickpeas are a staple component of many Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. The popularity of chickpeas goes beyond its culinary uses and distinct taste and texture. In fact, chickpeas have long been consumed for their numerous health promoting benefits.

Chickpeas are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, folic acid. Chickpeas are also a source of iron, copper, zinc and magnesium.

My Health Food Quick Notes
Source of Dietary Fiber
Source of Iron
Help Prevent Heart Disease
Lower Blood Sugars
Help Lower Cholesterol
High In Protein

Garbanzo beans are a high source of dietary fiber, which is essential in the proper functioning of the body. Dietary fiber plays an active role in the removal of cholesterol. In fact, the regular consumption of dietary fiber has been linked to the significant lowering of LDL cholesterol. Fiber also helps improve the absorption of nutrients, provide you with that feeling of fullness and helps keep you regular.

Dietary fiber actively helps control and balance blood glucose levels. After a meal, our blood glucose levels spike. When we choose foods that constantly cause spikes in blood glucose levels, we increase our risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and excessive weight gain. The presence of dietary fibers can help normalize blood glucose levels and reduce these spikes. This is achieved by fiber actively slowing gastric emptying as well as increasing the sensitivity to insulin allowing for proper absorption. Chickpeas are an excellent source of dietary fibers.

Chickpeas are a source of non-heme iron. Iron is needed to move oxygen throughout the system. Iron is also required to produce energy and the proper functioning of the human system as a whole. A nutritional deficiency in iron may lead to conditions such as anemia, weakness, hair loss, headaches and other critical health concerns.

Chickpeas are a rich source of folate. Folic acid is needed to prevent neural tube birth defects. Folate is also critical in the proper development of red blood cells. Also, folate plays an active role in controlling the levels of homocysteine. Lower serum homocysteine levels reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Folate also plays an active role in help preventing osteoporosis.

Chickpeas contain the mineral magnesium. Magnesium actively promotes the health of the cardiovascular system. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, allowing the relaxation and arteries and veins as well as improved flow of blood.

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