Chickpea or chole or kabuli chana though available worldwide, are mostly underrated for their immense nutritional values. In Western countries they are called garbanzo beans. They are from the pulse family and are a great source of many macro and micro nutrients. Chickpeas are rich in protein along with being high in dietary fiber. They are also rich in folic acid, phosphorus and potassium. They have started to gain popularity lately in the global market.
Let’s understand role of Chickpea in managing certain metabolic and lifestyle diseases:
- Weight loss: Owing to their high fiber, low calorie and high protein properties, chickpeas has shown positive result to manage obesity as per NHANES(National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 2003–2010 study.
- Diabetes and Insulin resistance: Chickpea possesses a low glycemic index, which has been linked to better diabetes management along with developing better insulin response. A meal containing chickpea when compared to a meal containing yellow peas (matar) have shown lower blood glucose level.
- Cardiovascular diseases: A controlled dietary intervention study suggested that chickpea supplementation of a wheat-based diet brought about significant reductions in serum total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Dietary fiber is well known for its positive effects on TC and LDL-C, which are validated biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.
- Cancer: Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid, which has been observed to reduce cell proliferation and reduce risk of cancer along with other bio-active compounds, are present in chickpea.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) tract health: High content of dietary soluble fibre in chickpea has shown positive effects on GI tract health with better gut clearance and relieving constipation like symptoms.
To reap in the enormous benefits of these wonder pulses, we can include them in our daily diet in a variety of dishes. Commonly used to make dishes like curries or pulao, they can also be used to prepare healthy and tasty snack items.