is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. Other common names for the species include garbanzo bean, ceci bean, sanagalu, channa and Bengal gram
. The name "chickpea" traces back through the French chiche to cicer, Latin for ‘chickpea’.
The plant grows to between 20–50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse
, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate with more than 400 millimetres of annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate but yields will be much lower.Dried chickpeas need a long cooking time (1–2 hours) but will easily fall apart when cooked longer. If soaked for 12–24 hours before use, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes. To make smooth hummus the cooked chickpeas must be processed while quite hot, since the skins disintegrate only when hot.
Health Benefits of Chickpea :
Like other beans, Chickpeas, are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders.Chickpeas are a good source of protein. Combined with a whole grain such as whole-wheat protein, they provide amount of protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fats.
Garbanzos are an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese,
which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Just one cup of garbanzo beans supplies 84.5% of the daily value for this mineral.Garbanzos can boost your energy because of their high iron content. This is particularly important for menstruating women, pregnant or lactating women and growing children. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels
. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, beans like garbanzos can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. They have low GI value of 28 – 32 means the carbohydrate in them is broken down and digested slowly. This is helpful for weight loss as it controls appetite.
Regular intake of Chickpeas can lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol
. Garbanzos contain the significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate lowers the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine and strengthens the blood vessels. Studies have found chickpeas lower the risk of heart attack.
Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants.
It could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimizes hot flushes in post-menopausal women. Due to high fiber content and low GI, chickpeas are excellent for weight loss diets
. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and can keep you full longer, controlling the appetite.
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