The Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Chickpeas contain a range of nutrients, including protein, which is necessary for bone, muscle, and skin health.
For people who are cutting down on meat consumption, a dish of chickpeas and rice, for example, can contribute a significant amount of protein to the diet. A cup of chickpeas provides almost one-thirdTrusted Source of an adult’s daily protein needsTrusted Source.
The nutrients in chickpeas may also help prevent a number of health conditions.
One cup of chickpeas, weighing 164 grams (g), provides 12.5 gTrusted Source of fiber.
The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommend that adults consume 25.2–28.0 g of fiber a day, depending on age and sex.
Chickpeas can play a role in a healthful diabetes meal plan.
Current guidelinesTrusted Source recommend that adults consume at least 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day.
A cup of chickpeas, weighing 164 g, provides 474 mgTrusted Source of potassium.
People who use canned chickpeas should check how much sodium the manufacturers have added. Cooking with dry chickpeas can help limit the amount of salt in a meal.
Adults should keep their sodium intake below 2,300 mg per day, while people aged 51 or over and those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease should consume less than 1,500 mg per day.
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Free radicals are toxic substances that accumulate in the body, as a result of metabolism and other factors. As these toxins build up, they can damage cells and lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer.
A cup of chickpeas contains 6.1 microgramsTrusted Source (mcg) of selenium. The Office of Dietary SupplementsTrusted Source (ODS) recommend that adults consume 55 mcg of selenium a day. They also note that selenium’s antioxidant activity may help protect the body from cancer.
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A small 2006 studyTrusted Source found that participants had less low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol in their blood when they ate a diet with added chickpeas, compared with a diet with added wheat, for 5 weeks.
The researchers noted that the fiber in chickpeas may be responsible for the reduction in LDL cholesterol.
Which foods should you choose or avoid when managing cholesterol? Find out here.
A cup of chickpeas contains 69.7 mg of choline, which helps with brain and nervous system function. Choline plays a role in mood, muscle control, learning, and memory, as well as the body’s metabolism.
The ODS recommend that adults consume 400–550 mgTrusted Source of choline a day, depending on sex and whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some researchTrusted Source suggests that a selenium deficiency may increase the risk of cognitive decline in older people. This would imply that selenium can support cognitive health, including memory and thinking.
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Digestion and regularity
Fiber helps keep the digestive tract healthy and promotes regularity. Chickpeas are a good source of fiber.
Weight management and satiety
Dietary fibers function as bulking agents in the digestive system. Bulking agents increase the feeling of fullness after eating, and protein has the same effect.
Feeling fuller for longer after eating can help reduce the appetite and lower a person’s caloric intake.
Find some more tips on losing weight here.
Without iron, the body cannot deliver oxygen to its cells, and this can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include weakness and tiredness. In severe cases, life-threatening complications can arise.
A cup of chickpeas contains 4.7 mgTrusted Source of iron, or between a half and one-fifthTrusted Source of a person’s daily requirement, depending on the individual. It also provides some vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron.
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The following table shows the amount of each nutrientTrusted Source in 1 cup of chickpeas, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
It also shows how much of each nutrient a person should consume each day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for AmericanTrusted Sources. The requirements vary, however, according to age and sex.
|Nutrients||Amount in 1 cup of chickpeasTrusted Source (164 g)||RequirementsTrusted Source per day|
|Fat (g)||4.2||20–35% of daily calories should be fat|
|Carbohydrates (g)||44.7, including 7.8 g of sugar||130|
|Vitamin C (mg)||2.1||75–90|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||26.2||700–900Trusted Source|
|Vitamin E (mg)||0.6||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||6.6||75–120|
For people following a vegan or vegetarian diet, chickpeas are an excellent choice, as they provide protein, iron, selenium, and B vitamins.