The benefits of healthy eating are finally being truly understood by many people. Organic, natural meals are preferred over fast food options and the health food market is booming.
But still, there’s another superfood you may have overlooked in your meal planning that has incredible nutritional and health benefits. Welcome to the age of the chickpea!
Chickpeas, sometimes called garbanzo beans, are legumes typically grown in the Middle East. If you don’t know much about these nutty-tasting treats, here are 8 of their health benefits to expand your knowledge.
Why You Should Add Chickpeas to Your Meal Every Day
1. They’ve got the nutrients you need and none that you don’t. Some healthy foods are too low in calories or fats to give your body much help with energy. Chickpeas have just enough to be highly beneficial without weighing you down.
In one ounce of chickpeas, you’ll find about 50 calories. These calories contain mostly healthy carbs that your body needs to store energy. The rest of the chickpea is full of fiber, protein, a small amount of fat, and minerals that are necessary to your health.
2. Protein and fiber fill you up. Any scientifically-backed diet will tell you the same thing: Eat more protein and fiber, and you’ll eat less overall.
These two nutrients help your body to feel fuller faster and longer, so you can turn away unhealthy options and curb the urge to snack.
3. They’re a good alternative to unhealthy meat products. Not all meat is unhealthy. In fact, some meat is highly recommended for a balanced diet. This is because it can be a good source of protein and other nutrients.
But if you prefer to avoid animal products, chickpeas can replace them. With three grams of protein per ounce, these legumes pack a meaty punch.
4. Chickpeas may help control blood sugar. Just because you’re not diabetic doesn’t mean you don’t need help with your blood sugar. Insulin spikes can cause your body to react similarly to that of a diabetic.
Chickpeas have properties that manage blood sugar. Their low glycemic index means that, even though they have natural sugars in them, they don’t spike your levels. And the fiber and protein in them are recommended by physicians to help manage blood sugar regulation.
5. They can help you maintain a healthy weight. Many people don’t realize that in order to lose or keep to a healthy weight, you have to have calories. If not, your body reacts as though it is going to starve and puts emergency responses in gear.
Chickpeas have enough calories, fiber, and protein to ensure you aren’t gaining excess weight from unhealthy foods but you aren’t starving, either.
6. You’ll lose waste faster. Fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system, and chickpeas have plenty of this nutrient!
7. Unlike many healthy foods, chickpeas are not pricey! The argument much of the population has against eating healthy is the high price tag that goes with it. But you can add chickpeas to your grocery cart without spending an arm and a leg.
8. They’re versatile with any meal. Because these legumes taste more like nuts than vegetables, they’re an easy addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even have them as a snack!
Chickpea Products Will Change Your Eating Habits
Once you start using chickpeas in your meals regularly, you’ll find that food just doesn’t taste as good and your body doesn’t feel as healthy without them!