It is one of the main ingredients of Eastern and Middle Eastern gastronomy and contains many nutrients, including proteins and vitamins. In supermarkets and markets you can find this legume in the form of seeds (raw or cooked) or as pre-processed flour. Today you can know the properties of chickpeas, a food that you can use for many different dishes.
Properties of chickpeas and nutritional information
A portion of 100 grams of cooked chickpeas without salt provides hydrates of carbon (source of energy), dietary fiber (excellent for heart and digestive health), proteins and fats. Furthermore, chickpeas are rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and sodium.
The two main benefits of chickpeas
Since they contain dietary fiber, chickpeas help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood, lower blood pressure and lower the amount of triglycerides. As a result, they reduce the risk of suffering from heart attacks, heart disease and cerebrovascular accidents.
On the other hand, their components are excellent for protecting digestive health by increasing the size of the stool. If you have diarrhea, for example, nothing better than a plate of chickpeas to regulate and strengthen your intestines. In turn, the properties of chickpeas help prevent and treat hemorrhoids.
Other benefits of eating chickpeas
People who have ferrous anemia (caused by a lack of iron) can eat them to increase their iron levels, one of the main properties of chickpeas. They are also recommended for those who practice a lot of sport and who, following physical activity, consume a lot of this mineral.
Furthermore, chickpeas are a great source of potassium and, for this reason, they are ideal for improving circulation, regulating blood pressure and excellent for those suffering from hypertension. They help prevent rheumatic diseases such as arthritis, as well as cramps.
Even diabetics can eat them and enjoy the properties of chickpeas, thanks to their zinc content which allows the body to assimilate and store insulin. Zinc is essential for the general growth of the organism, to increase the immune system, to heal wounds and to metabolize proteins. It helps fight fatigue and takes care of transporting vitamin A to the retina of the eye.
Those who have problems with intestinal transit should eat chickpeas, as they contain a large amount of fiber which helps to control obesity and prevent colon cancer.
Thanks to the folic acid contained in this legume, chickpeas are an excellent food for pregnant or breastfeeding women. They are also suitable for those who smoke or drink alcohol, in order to better absorb vitamin B9.
Finally, vitamin K from chickpeas has been shown to stimulate better blood clotting and bone metabolism.
Simple recipes with chickpeas
In order for you to get the large amount of nutrients contained in chickpeas, try the following recipes:
- Hummus: the best known Arabic recipe based on chickpeas. In a bowl, add a cup of cooked chickpeas, two cloves of chopped garlic, cumin, olive oil, chopped parsley, salt and the juice of one lemon. Add a little water and chop everything. Once a cream is obtained, it is ready. Serve it by pouring more olive oil and chilli. It is eaten with pita (Arabic bread) and is an excellent appetizer.
- Chickpea meatballs (falafel): Put a cup of chickpeas in a bowl and let them rest overnight. The next day, cook them until the water boils. Separately, mix an onion, two cloves of garlic, coriander, pepper, cumin and chilli. Add the chickpeas and chop with a blender. Leave in the fridge for an hour. Take a small amount and form balls to fry in vegetable oil.
- Chickpea and polenta burger: cook the chickpeas and make a purée. Prepare the polenta by boiling some water and salt, then add a tablespoon of olive oil and the yellow flour a little at a time. When it is almost ready, add the mashed chickpeas. Add a very finely chopped carrot and onion. Leave to cool in a tray for an hour. Give it the shape of burgers and then cook them with a little vegetable oil or in the oven.