What are chickpeas and are they healthy to eat?

Chickpeas are a legume and are a nutritional powerhouse. Iron-rich and naturally low in fat and contain no cholesterol, which can contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Chickpeas are considered to be both a vegetable and a protein because they’re so nutritious. Some people even consider them a superfood. Chickpeas are what’s known as complete protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids, which are building blocks that help our bodies function properly. “Chickpeas are also an excellent source of non-animal protein,” Lane adds. “They’re great for vegetarians and vegans.”

The benefits of chickpeas:

1. Helps manage weight: Chickpeas are high in fibre.
2. Combats constipation: Because chickpeas are so high in fibre, they also help prevent constipation — which has the added bonus of keeping your gastrointestinal health well.
3. Promote cardiovascular health: Chickpeas are naturally very low in sodium and are cholesterol-free. They’re also a good source of polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats especially help control (and reduce) your cholesterol levels which, in turn, decreases your risk of developing heart disease.
4. Help control blood sugar: Chickpeas are low on the glycemic index, which means they’re a food that won’t make your blood sugar spike. They help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, making them suitable for people with diabetes and ideal for weight management.
5. Great substitute for anyone with gluten sensitivity: Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free. This makes them an ideal option for coeliacs.

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