Bengal gram or chickpeas are considered as a vital and healthy pulse that is filled with a bunch of nutritional benefits. Just like the other pulses, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber content along with loads of vitamins and minerals. Chickpeas are high in Iron, sodium, magnesium and selenium content and they also offer a good dose of potassium and phytonutrients to the body.
Chana or Chickpeas have a low fat content and can serve as an excellent stomach filling food that will not add to your body fat. Let us get into the details of the health benefits offered by the chickpeas,
Chickpeas – a pocket friendly store house of energy
Feeling tired after working out or swimming? Munch on a handful of soaked or boiled chickpeas with a bit of added spices and see how the fatigue vanishes quickly. Chickpeas contain high quality plant protein that goes at per with animal protein as far as its amino acid constituents are concerned. The protein in chickpea contains the amino acid methionine in sufficient amount, which is rare amongst the plant sources and can give your muscles the right boost of energy.
Chickpeas might help in fighting diabetes
It has been proved through studies that people with type 1 diabetes are able to maintain a much lower blood glucose level when they consume high-fiber rich diet. In case of type 2 diabetes, fiber rich diet can be helpful for more normal blood insulin, lipid and sugar levels. Chickpeas being high in dietary fibers can be effective in offering benefits in case of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Chickpeas for controlling blood pressure
While intake of low sodium diet is vital for a healthy blood pressure, increasing the potassium intake is important to maintain blood pressure at a balanced level. Chickpeas being high in potassium and low in sodium can actually be helpful to control a proper blood pressure level compared to many other foods. 100 grams of chickpeas contain 875 mg of potassium, all of which can be absorbed into the body. Hence including chickpeas in your diet can ensure that you do not suffer from potassium deficiency and will also help you to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Chickpeas for a stronger heart
The constituents of chickpeas are highly supportive for a better heart health. High fiber content coupled with Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and potassium makes it a perfect food for a strong heart. Chickpeas are completely devoid of cholesterol and studies have shown that consuming sufficient amount of chickpeas on a daily basis can effectively reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Chickpeas can ensure the best bone health
When it comes to bone health chickpeas can be considered as a superfood. It contains all the minerals in accurate percentages to ensure stronger bones. The Calcium and Phosphate percentage present in chickpeas is ideal for bone health. Intake of high amount of phosphorous with minimum calcium can result into bone loss, but the exact percentage of these two minerals in chickpeas makes it just the perfect for stronger bones. Apart from calcium and phosphorus, chickpeas are also rich in iron, zinc and manganese, all of which plays vital role in the production as well as maturation of collagen. The Vitamin K of chickpeas works as a bone matrix protein modifier helping in better absorption of calcium into the bones.
Chickpeas can help in better brain functioning
Chickpeas have also been related with better learning and memory. The choline content of chickpeas nourishes the nerve cells and it can also be helpful in relieving stress. The all-round ability of chickpeas to promote better bone and brain health makes it an ideal food for growing children.
Chickpeas and cancer prevention
Chickpeas have been found to have extensive cancer fighting properties due to some of its unique constituents. The selenium present in chickpeas promotes proper functioning of the liver, which can be helpful for detoxifying compounds that might cause cancer. In addition to that selenium being anti-inflammatory also controls the growth of cancerous tumors. The folate content of chickpeas helps in synthesis and repairing of DNA, providing protection from cancer formation due to DNA mutation. The phytochemical, saponins present in chickpeas can also prevent multiplication and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Chickpeas for treating anemia
Chickpeas are rich in both iron and folate and hence they can effectively fight both iron related and folate related anemia. If you are suffering from lack of blood, including sufficient amount of chickpeas in your regular diet in any form can offer quick and effective benefits in curing anemia.
Chickpeas during pregnancy
Chickpeas are one of the foods that are highly suggested by the doctors to have during pregnancy. The constituents of chickpeas work in more than one way to ensure the best health of the expecting mother as well as the child. First of all the folate content of chickpeas ensures proper neural development of the fetus which is very vital. The high iron content cures blood deficiency in mother which is again vital for healthy pregnancy. The calcium, potassium content of chickpeas helps in maintaining better bone health, limiting any kind of bone density loss during pregnancy. Being high in dietary fibers chickpeas also help in proper bowel movement, curing constipation which can be very helpful during pregnancy.
Chickpeas for weight management
When you are trying to maintain a proper body weight, chickpeas can make a good choice to munch on. Chickpeas have low fat content and the high amount of fiber present in them will keep you satiated for longer.