Chickpeas: Uses, Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, & Side-effects

Chickpea is the common name for an annual plant, Cicer arietinum, of the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) family that is widely cultivated for its typically yellow-brown, pea like seeds. Cicer arietinum grows to between 20 and 60 centimetres high and has small, feathery pinnate leaves on either side of the stem.

Types of chickpeas

There are 90 identified species of chickpeas. Although the most common variants are pale brown, black, green, red chickpeas.

There are two main types of chickpeas, Kabuli and desi. Small, dark desi chickpeas have a yellow interior. Kabuli are large, and beige-coloured throughout, with a thin skin. However, in the market, both are simply designated chickpeas.

Desi chickpeas are available in tan or black colours. This variety of chickpeas are grown in dry lands, mainly in India and Bangladesh.

Kabuli Chickpeas are available in white and tan colours. It is grown in Europe, Chile, Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. [1]

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Chickpea Nutrition Facts

Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, offer a good alternative source of protein, minerals, and vitamins. That are essential for our body.

Protein in Chickpeas:

Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, offer a good alternative source of protein, whether it is a full-on vegetarian diet or simply trying to reduce meat intake. A half-cup of cooked chickpeas gives about 8 grams of protein, or 15 percent of the daily recommended value. Canned chickpeas offer slightly less, with about 6 grams. At the same time, these servings supply only a trace amount of saturated fat [2].

Hummus supplies protein, too, but at a much lower level. It will provide between 1 and 2 grams in a 2-tablespoon serving [2].

Chickpea Protein Benefits:

1. Weight Management With Chickpeas

The presence of good amounts of protein and fibre means that chickpeas are suited for a healthy weight loss diet. Both protein and fibre have been known to promote satiety, curbing hunger pangs and helping in weight management 

2. Chickpea Controls Diabetes

Fibre in chickpeas has also been credited with better control over blood sugar and blood lipid levels as well as reduced insulin resistance. High-fibre diets are associated with lower risks of diabetes and high blood sugar levels

3. Chickpea Boosts Bone Health

Chickpeas are also said to help boost bone health, as they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus as well as Vitamin K. All these micro-nutrients are important for the health of bones in the body

4. Chickpea Boosts Health of Nervous System and Liver

The presence of Vitamin B9 or folate in chickpeas makes it good for proper brain and muscle development as well as the smooth functioning of the nervous system and an optimal metabolism. It also helps in metabolizing of fat in the liver and ensures smooth functioning of this crucial organ [2].

Calories and Vitamins in chickpeas

They contain a moderate amount of calories, providing 46 calories per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. Approximately 67% of those calories are from carbs, while the rest comes from protein and a small amount of fat [3].

Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fibre and protein [3]

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving provides the following nutrients

Calories: 46

Carbs: 8 grams

Fibre: 2 grams

Protein: 3 grams

Folate: 12% of the Recommended Daily Intake

Iron: 4% of the Recommended Daily Intake

Phosphorus: 5% of the Recommended Daily Intake

Copper: 5% of the Recommended Daily Intake

Manganese: 14% of the Recommended Daily Intake.

Chickpea Calories Benefits

1. Chickpea Improves Digestion

The high levels of dietary fibre found in chickpeas can help to bulk up stool. This keeps bowel movements regular while eliminating inflammation, cramping, bloating, and constipation [3].

2. Chickpea Strengthen Bones

Garbanzo beans being rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and zinc are exceptionally good for bone health. Many of those minerals are essential to improve bone mineral density and prevent age-related conditions like osteoporosis [3].

3. Chickpea Prevents Genetic Defects

Folate is an important B-vitamin for many different reasons, especially for women. Low folate levels are closely associated with neural tube defects and other complications with the birth of children. Adding folate-rich chickpeas in the diet during pregnancy is a delicious way to ensure baby’s healthy delivery [3]

4. Chickpea Lowers inflammation

Choline in chickpeas is a macronutrient that plays a vital role in the body’s ability to fight chronic inflammation. It also regulates sleep cycle, increases the range of movement in the muscles, as well as boosts learning and memory [3]

Minerals in Chickpea

 Chickpeas contain vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline, and selenium. Besides being an excellent vegan and gluten-free source of protein and fibre, chickpeas also contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium [4].

Chickpea Mineral Benefits:

1. Maintain bone health:

The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

Bone matrix formation requires the mineral manganese, and iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen [4]

2. Benefits for irritable bowel syndrome

Although chickpeas do not ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, they can be helpful to people affected by the condition [4].

3. May protect against certain chronic diseases, such as Heart diseases, Cancer, and Diabetes.

Including chickpeas in diet on a regular basis may help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. Chickpeas have a few properties known to support blood sugar control, and thus may help prevent and manage diabetes. The fibre and protein in chickpeas help prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating, which is an important factor in diabetes management [4].

Chickpea Health Benefits

1. Keep appetite in control.

2. Rich in plants-based protein which is helpful for body.

3. Helps in managing weight.

4. Control over chronic diseases.

5. Checks digestion.

6. Maintain sugar levels.

7. Strengthen Bones.

8. Prevent hair loss.

9. Eliminate wrinkles, soften and tighten skin.

10. Improve Eye health.

11. It cuts down the risk of neural birth defects and lower birth rate during pregnancy.

12. Strengthen Bones.

13. Help reduce Inflammation.

14. Provide all essentials vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Chickpea Uses:

How to make Humus at home

Chickpea is a key ingredient in hummus and Chana masala, and it can be ground into flour to make falafel

It is also used in salads, soups and stews, curry and other items

Chickpea Side Effects

1. It may cause discomfort.

Legumes contain complex sugars which is known to cause some people discomfort and intestinal gas

2. Causes Cramps

Cramps usually occur because of sudden increase of fibre in the body that’s not accustomed to such amount


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