Known as the key ingredient in the well-known hummus, chickpeas are a type of legume that is filled with fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.
They are relatively low in calories and are commonly found in Mediterranean and Indian dishes.
They are very versatile and are a delicious plant-based protein.
However, some people do worry about their carbohydrate content, especially those who follow a low-carb diet.
This article is going to be discussing the carbs in chickpeas, as well as the other health benefits and nutrients found in the delicious chickpea.
As mentioned above, chickpeas are bursting with nutrition.
1 cup of chickpeas amounts to around 210 calories, all of which are made up of different nutrients, such as protein, carbs, fiber, and fats.
They’ve Got Lots Of Carbs!
A lot of the calories in chickpeas are due to the carbohydrate content within them.
In 1 cup of chickpeas, you’ll find around 35 grams of carbs.
Most of this is made up of starch and fiber, and there are also natural sugars within them.
There’s Some Fat
You’ll be happy to know that there is only a small amount of fat in chickpeas, most of it being polyunsaturated, which is healthier for the body.
However, there is still a small amount of monosaturated, and saturated fat in them, but this is in small amounts.
A Great Plant-Based Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for the body and provides its cells with what is needed for muscles to grow and function. Protein is also very important for hair, skin, and nails.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein, and they are completely plant-based, so it is very common for those who adopt a vegan diet, to regularly consume chickpeas.
In 1 cup of chickpeas, you can expect to find around 11 grams of protein.
When paired with other foods, this makes chickpeas a great addition to a well-balanced meal.
Vitamins And Minerals
Chickpeas contain several healthy minerals that your body needs in order to function properly.
Some of these include manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium.
They are also a great source of vitamin B6 and folate.
Other B vitamins that you’ll get from these legumes include thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.
As you’ve seen from what has been mentioned already, the nutritional value of chickpeas means there are a number of health benefits associated with eating them. Below will discuss a few of these.
A Good, Healthy Heart
The fiber content in chickpeas is very beneficial, as half a cup contains 16% of your daily needs!
Just under half of the fiber in chickpeas is soluble fiber, which is a great fiber for digestion, and can stabilize blood glucose levels, preventing a sudden dip in energy levels.
This type of fiber is also good for the heart, making chickpeas a heart-healthy food.
Studies have shown that those who consume foods that are rich in fiber, tend to have a decreased risk of heart disease.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Chickpeas contain resistant starch, as do other legumes.
This type of starch takes longer to digest, than other rapidly digested foods, such as processed foods.
By consuming foods that take longer to digest, you will have longer-lasting energy due to your body having more glycemic control.
This means that you won’t experience a spike in your blood sugar levels, which feels like a pang of energy followed by a crash.
Instead, you’ll have steady energy throughout the day, and your blood sugar levels will remain normal.
They Can Help You Manage Your Weight
When you consume foods that are rich in fiber and protein, they’ll leave you feeling full for longer, leading to you craving less calorie-dense foods, and consuming less calories overall.
As we’ve mentioned already, due to their nutritional value, chickpeas will give you a sustained amount of energy due to the glycemic control.
This reduces your food cravings as all levels in your body are regulated and even.
Therefore, this leads to less weight gain as you are being kept full for longer by eating healthy, whole foods, rather than processed foods that are high in sugar and will leave you craving more sugar soon after eating them.
Negative Side Effects
As chickpeas belong to the legume family, some legumes can cause allergies, such as peanuts and soybeans.
The above are known as top allergens, so those who are already allergic to soy, peas, lentils, or hazelnuts, may experience a cross-reaction when they consume chickpeas.
If you do have any allergies to the above foods, then be wary of consuming chickpeas, as you may experience a slight reaction to them.
If you would like to incorporate these into your diet but aren’t sure if they’re safe for you, you should always consult your doctor.
As chickpeas are high in fiber, you may also experience some intestinal issues, such as an increase in gas.
Symptoms may include trapped wind, bloating, and issues passing bowel movements.
Once way to manage these issues is to introduce fiber into your diet gradually, rather than all at once.
This could mean that you start to include a few chickpeas into your lunchtime meal, but not every single day.
The same goes for other foods that are high in fiber, begin by introducing them slowly and gradually, and mixing them with other foods that are filled with healthy nutrients.
In summary, chickpeas are relatively high in carbs, as 1 cup will fill you with 35 grams of carbs!
While many will avoid eating chickpeas for this reason, carbs are very important for your body as they provide you with energy.
Chickpeas are also a great source of fiber, another very important nutrient in order for your body to function properly, and they are also a great plant-based source of protein.
They are a very versatile form of legume, and can be added to all kinds of cuisines and dishes.
We hope this article has helped you understand more about chickpeas and the nutritional value they hold.