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.

Diabetes

One cup of chickpeas, weighing 164 grams (g), provides 12.5 gTrusted Source of fiber.

Fiber may benefit people with diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association recommend chickpeas as a source of dietary fiber.

A 2014 studyTrusted Source concluded that eating at least 30 g of fiber per day could help reduce inflammation in people with type 1 diabetes.

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of meta-analyses found that a high fiber diet may help lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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.

Bone health

The iron, calcium, and other nutrients in chickpeas can all contribute to healthy bone structure and strength. Chickpeas can play a role in the diet of people who want to prevent osteoporosis.

Blood pressure

To prevent high blood pressure, experts recommend limiting the intake of added sodium, or salt, and increasing the intake of potassium.

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.

Which other foods could help manage blood pressureFind out here.

Heart health

The fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium in chickpeas all support heart health.

Fiber helps decrease the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Chickpeas contain no cholesterol.

Here, learn more about foods that support a healthy heart.

Cancer

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.

Antioxidants help the body remove free radicals, and the selenium and beta carotene in chickpeas act as antioxidants.

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.

In addition, there is evidenceTrusted Source that fiber, which chickpeas contain, can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Can a person’s diet help prevent breast cancer? Find out here.

Cholesterol

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.

Mental health

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.

Can dietary choices have an impact on depressionFind out here.

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.

Anemia

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.

Here, find some dietary tips and meal plans to help deal with iron deficiency.

Nutrition

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
Energy (calories) 267 1,800–3,200
Protein (g) 14.4 46–56
Fat (g) 4.2 20–35% of daily calories should be fat
Carbohydrates (g) 44.7, including 7.8 g of sugar 130
Fiber (g) 12.5 22.4–33.6
Calcium (mg) 80.4 1,000–1,300
Iron (mg) 4.7 8–18
Magnesium (mg) 78.7 310–420
Phosphorus (mg) 274 700–1,250
Potassium (mg) 474 4,700
Zinc (mg) 2.5 8–11
Copper (mcg) 0.6 890–900
Selenium (mcg) 6.1 55
Vitamin C (mg) 2.1 75–90
Folate (mcg) 280 400
Choline (mg) 69.7 425–550
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.