Chickpeas are not only packed with nutrition, but are a very versatile food. From being the base of hummus to a salad topper, to a roasted snack, there are many ways to include them in your diet. Here we highlight why you may want to!
They are a source of plant-based protein.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, folate, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and healthy fatty acids. Protein is needed in the body to help repair cells and make new ones. It’s essential for growth and development in children, teens and pregnant women. In addition to eating it as is, you can consume chickpeas as a protein powder, flour, hummus and/or vegetarian option.
They support heart health.
Chickpeas can play a vital role in supporting your heart health because they are rich in fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and selenium. These minerals help to foster a healthy heart and reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Chickpeas contain no cholesterol making it ideal for many people. If you are in the mood for a salad, try this heart healthy one by the American Heart Association that can be had as a side or as the main course.
They support blood sugar management.
The fiber found in chickpeas can help with preventing blood sugar levels from spiking after eating, this is an important factor in diabetes management. In a study conducted by NCBI they found that at least 30g of fiber a day can help with inflammation in those with type 1 diabetes. Looking for a dessert option using chickpeas? Try making Chickpea Cookie Dough Bites, it has 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein!
They may support mental health.
There are many ways we can proactively be taking care of our mental health, one of them being nutrition. Since chickpeas are packed with magnesium it helps to speed up the message transmission to the brain and helps to relax blood vessels. This all allows for more blood circulation to the brain that assists in improving focus and self-control. Try this soothing Garlic Chickpea Soup if you are looking for some nutritious comfort. Added bonus is that garlic acts as an antidepressant!
Always try to incorporate foods like chickpeas that will enrich your diet, are versatile and make you feel good mentally and physically.