Just a thought about chickpeas immediately conjures up images of delicious dishes, for many of us the Punjabi delicacy and Indian favourite chole with kulcha or bhatura. But what many of don’t realise is that chickpea (or Kabuli channa as it’s more commonly known in India) is a food that is filled with nutrients. Healthy as well as tasty, chickpea is a protein-rich pulse and the perfect health food as it is low in fat, high in fibre, rich in folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, zinc and magnesium.
Why one should add chickpeas to our diet:
– Lowers Cholesterol : Chickpeas are rich in soluble fibre, which binds with acids in the small intestine that are required to form cholesterol, and expels it from the body, thereby lowering cholesterol production. This action also lowers the levels of total and bad cholesterol, hence aiding in the prevention of heart attacks.
– Combating diabetes: Consisting of carbohydrates that are digested slowly, regularly eating chickpeas helps reduce the blood sugar peaks and valleys that can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.
– Help in Weight loss: As a food that is high in fibre and with a low glycemic index, chickpeas are digested slowly, making you feel fuller for a longer time. Try eating chickpea salad as a tasty snack or dish that will keep you satiated longer. This will help you cut down on calories and shed kilos faster.
– Great for vegetarians: Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and, when combined with wholegrain cereals like brown rice, whole wheat, jowar, etc., form complete proteins that are comparable to protein-rich foods like milk or eggs.
– Improves digestion: The soluble and insoluble fibre in chickpeas provides bulk to your diet, keeping your digestion on track and preventing painful digestive disorders.
– Women’s health: Chickpeas contain phytoestrogens, a weak plant version of real estrogen. There’s evidence that these may help modulate the body’s own production of this hormone in a way that could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimise hot flashes in post-menopausal women.
With so many health benefits, adding chickpeas to your daily diet should be a priority. They can be cooked in curries or dry masalas, added to salads, used as flour, or eaten roasted to create a variety of healthy and delicious snacks and dishes.
While the above article guides you to eating healthier, there is no substitute for customized professional advice given by a qualified nutritionist. We urge you to speak to your personal dietician or if you need help, contact a nutritionist at Qua Nutrition.
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