Did you know that chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans) are a healthy food that can help you lose weight? Read on to learn more.
Health: Food & Nutrition
Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are a small legume, popular in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine. Their delicious nut-like taste and buttery texture make them a versatile ingredient, used in a variety of dishes.
Chickpeas are, however, most popular because of their health benefits. They’re extremely rich in proteins, fibers, and various vitamins and mineral, while still being moderately low in calories.
Like any other beans, they’re rich in fiber, which helps maintain the proper digestion and can also help you, if you suffer from bloating or constipation. In fact, around 60-70% of the fiber, found in the Garbanzo beans are insoluble, which means that it remains undigested all the way to the final segment of your large intestine.
Apart from an excellent source of fiber that can improve your digestion and finally help you get rid of the bloating, chickpeas are also very rich in proteins and manganese. The latter is a necessary cofactor in a number of enzymes, associated with energy production and antioxidant defenses. Garbanzo beans can also boost your energy because of their high iron content. Iron is a vital part of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs throughout the body, and is essential for your body’s well-maintained metabolism.
Apart from the obvious health benefits, chickpeas are also a great choice, if you’re trying to lose weight. Because of their high fiber content, they will leave you feeling satiated for a longer period of time, which means no excess snacks or binging on foods. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Foods also discovered that if you include chickpeas in your menu, you’ll be far more successful at losing weight than if you simply start cutting calories! The easiest way to consume is to make yourself a healthy salad with chickpeas for protein. They’re tasty and will keep you full for longer, as well as help you control the food cravings.
Chickpeas are also great for lowering cholesterol and preventing type 2 diabetes. In fact, regular intake of chickpeas has been demonstrated to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), as well as the total amount of cholesterol. That’s because the carbohydrates in the legumes are absorbed and digested more slowly, reducing your blood sugar risks. The chickpeas can stabilize your GI (glycemic index) and stabilize your blood sugar levels, which makes them an excellent choice for people suffering or predisposed to diabetes.
Even more, the chickpeas are rich in a phytochemical, known as saponin. It acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of breast cancer in women, protects against osteoporosis and can even minimize the hot flushes, caused by post-menstrual syndromes. They also help strengthen the walls of blood vessels and promote cardiovascular health - as if you need another reason to include them in your menu!
The good news is that chickpeas are not just incredibly healthy and can help you lose some weight, but they can also be extremely tasty! If you’re a fan of seafood, you can try a simple Italian recipe with chickpeas and prawns. If you’re not into complicated dishes, however, you’ll probably be excited to learn that chickpeas go extremely well with almost any Indian, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean dish. The chickpea, spinach, and squash gnocchi is one of the easiest, yet tastiest recipes. You can also add them to a simple Greek salad and pair with sardines, lightly dredged in flour and sautéed in olive oil. And if you’re in the mood for some party food, roast the chickpeas in a hot oven and spice them according to taste - they’ll make an excellent low-fat substitute for nuts!
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