Friday, November 2, 2012

Article # 4. Health Benefits of Chickpeas



These low-fat, high-fiber treats are affordable and easy to make at home, whether you opt for canned or freshly cooked chickpeas. Chickpeas, sometimes called garbanzo beans, are an excellent source of protein, manganese and folate.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of the essential trace element molybdenum. They are a very good source of fiber, folic acid, and manganese. They are an important source of macro nutrients, good source of protein, containing almost twice the amount of protein compared to cereal grains, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc.


The fiber in chickpeas helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels by binding bile acids in the small intestine, and preventing re-absorption to the liver. 47 participants took part in a study to compare the effects of a chickpea-supplemented diet and those of a wheat-supplemented diet on human serum lipids. The inclusion of chickpeas in the diet resulted in lower serum total and LDL cholesterol levels.


Preliminary evidence suggests the consumption of chickpeas may be beneficial for correcting dyslipidaemia (when the concentration of cholesterol or lipids in the blood exceeds normal limits), and preventing diabetes.


Regular consumption of pulses such as chickpeas may reduce risks of coronary heart disease.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas
· Fiber Advantage and Weight Loss: 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 (which contains cholesterol) 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.
· Protein for Vegetarians: 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.
· Manganese for Energy Production: 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.
· Iron Boost: 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.
· Stabilizing Blood Sugar and Low Glycaemic Index (GI): 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.
· Heart Healthy: 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
· For Women: 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.
· Weight Loss: 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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