Chickpeas or chick peas, scientifically known as Cicer arietinum is a fairly well-known legume from the family Fabaceae and subfamily Faboideae. It is also commonly referred to as gram or garbanzo or Bengal gram or garbanzo bean. It is sometimes called Egyptian pea or chana or cece or ceci or Kabuli chana. The seeds of the plant are quite high in terms of protein content. It is cultivated in massive scale. The nut is endowed with a very delicious taste and the texture is on the buttery side. This legume is used for a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
How do chickpeas help you?
• Chickpeas contain a lot of insoluble and soluble edible fibre. The soluble fibre traps the bile that contains cholesterol and drives it out. The insoluble fibres help in reducing constipation and stopping digestive problems.
• Chickpeas also constitute a very good source of protein for people who are vegetarians. The proteins provided by chickpeas are as high as dairy foods or meat albeit without the high calorific values that come with them.
• The chickpeas contain a liberal dosage of manganese. Manganese plays a very important role in the production of energy and defence role carried out by the antioxidants. Chickpeas fulfil the complete requirement for manganese in the body. Gram boosts your energy because it contains high amount of iron. This function is rather important for women who are menstruating. Iron constitutes a very important part of haemoglobin.
• A regular consumption of chickpeas could significantly reduce your bad and composite cholesterol content. Grams also are endowed with good dosages of magnesium and folate. This folate makes the blood vessels stronger and reduces the risk of heart attacks.
• The legume also contains important phytochemicals known as saponins which act as a strong antioxidant. It significantly reduces the possibilities of osteoporosis, breast cancer and hot flushes for post-menopausal ladies. Also, subject to the fact that chickpeas contain a good amount of fibre and have a low GI, they are a good weight loss agent. Salads made with the legume are rather tasty and could keep your stomach full for a substantial amount of time.
Also, the soluble fibres aid in stabilizing the levels of sugar in the blood. The carbohydrate present in gram could be broken down rather easily and subsequently digested.