Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world and remain one of the most popular today across nearly every continent. Chickpeas have been a part of certain traditional diets for over 7,500 years! Chickpeas are still included in the diets of some of the healthiest populations living around the world today, including those eating traditional cuisines that stem from the Middle East, the Mediterranean region and African nations too. Second to the soybean, the chickpea is the next most widely grown and eaten bean in the world. Chickpeas are a type of legume that offer a range of health benefits. Chickpeas help to increase satiety, boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable, increase protection against disease and more. Chickpeas nutrition is a potent package of protein, vitamins and minerals, which is why they are often included in many healing diets!
The following is a list of the many benefits a serve of chickpeas can provide to you!
CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS - Chickpeas, like all legumes, are a complex carbohydrate that the body is able to slowly digest and use for energy. This is super important for a healthy diet, as all carbohydrates are not created equal! Some quickly raise blood sugar levels and lead to “spikes and dips” in energy (simple or fast carbs), while others do the opposite and give us sustained fuel (complex carbs), as they take longer to break down!
KEEPS YOU FULL - Chickpeas are high in both protein and fiber, which helps to make you feel full and to curb food cravings and unhealthy snacking, which lead to weight gain! Beans make a filling addition to any recipe because of their fiber, complex carbs, and protein, which all work together to give us a feeling of being satisfaction after eating!
IMPROVE DIGESTION - With roughly 6-7 grams of fibre per half cup serving, chickpeas are a hefty source! Fiber facilitates in healthy digestion by quickly moving foods through the digestive tract, by drawing fluids from the body and binding them to the bulk of forming stool! Fiber also helps to balance pH levels and bacteria within the gut, which increases healthy bacteria whilst decreases unhealthy bacteria. Importantly, an imbalance in gut flora bacteria is often linked to many different digestive problems, so we want to ensure its balanced! Notably, because beans keep the digestive system, free from harmful bacteria and toxic build-up, they create a healthier overall environment where inflammation is reduced and cancer cells cannot proliferate like they can in an unhealthy environment, therefore reducing the risk of cancer such as that of the colon!
HEALTHY HEART - Chickpeas have been shown to balance unhealthy cholesterol levels, reduce hypertension, and protect against heart disease in multiple ways. This is thought to be due to the high fiber found in chickpeas, which helps people to avoid overeating and gaining harmful excess weight, around the vital organs (belly). Interestingly, fiber creates a gel-like substance in the digestive system that binds with fatty acids and helps to balance cholesterol levels. Additionally, beans help to keep the arteries clear from plaque build-up, maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and decrease the chances of cardiac arrest and stroke.
Here are some of my favourite uses for chickpeas:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Make HUMMUS!
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Add to salad
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Roast to make a crunchy snack!
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Make raw “cookie dough” by blending chickpeas, peanut butter and maple syrup!
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Stirred through a pasta sauce!
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Simply added to a lunch bowl with brown rice! (COMPLETE PROTEIN)
Some of the not so happy side effects that can occur if you overdo it are:
Stomach cramps and the formation of excessive gas due to the high fibre content!
½ cup parmesan, grated
¼ cup mix of coriander and parsley
2 cups kales leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
½ lemon, juiced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups white beans, cooked
Salt and Pepper
Combine everything except olive oil in a food processor and process until crumbly.
With processor still running add olive oil until the pesto in melded. Can create a chunky or smooth pesto dependent on preference.