Popular in Middle Eastern, Spanish and Greek cuisine, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are one of the most underrated super foods. High in protein and fibre, they also contain a host of vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy body. Here’s why you should be including them in your diet:
They’re good for your bones
Our bodies need a good balance of calcium and phosphate for proper bone mineralization – too much phosphate without enough calcium can lead to bone loss. Chickpeas contain a high amount of both minerals, plus iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K, all of which contribute to good bone health.
They help keep your heart healthy
The high fibre and potassium content in chickpeas helps lower cholesterol found in the blood. Plus, chickpeas don’t contain any cholesterol.
They keep you regular
Their high fibre levels prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
They offer relief to inflammation sufferers
Chickpeas contain choline, a nutrient known to assist with sleep, muscle movement and memory, but also known for reducing chronic inflammation.
Their vitamins and minerals offer long-term health benefits
The selenium found in chickpeas assists healthy liver function and is known for detoxifying dangerous and cancer-causing toxins in the body. Because they also contain folate, they are good for DNA repair, which is essential in preventing cancer cells from forming.
Chickpeas are most commonly bought in a tin and are ready to be eaten straight away. Add a handful to your Greek salad, to cous cous, or to a stew. If you have a blender you can even make your own chickpea hummus by blending them along with olive or coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
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