Health Benefits of Chickpeas

1.          May keep you feeling full

The protein and fiber in chickpeas may help keep your appetite under control.

Protein and fiber work together to slow digestion, which helps promote fullness. In addition, protein may increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones in your body.

In fact, the filling effects of the protein and fiber in chickpeas may automatically lower your calorie intake.

One study compared appetite and calorie intake among 12 women who ate two separate meals.

Before one of the meals, they ate 1.25 cups (200 grams) of chickpeas, then 2 slices of white bread before the other meal. They experienced a significant reduction in appetite and calorie intake after the chickpea meal, compared with the white bread meal.

Another small study found that those who ate pretzels and chickpea-based hummus for an afternoon snack experienced a 70% reduction in appetite and a 30% increase in fullness.

All the same, more research is needed on chickpeas and appetite control.

2.          Rich in plant protein

Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, making them excellent food for people who don’t eat meat or animal products.

A 1-cup (164-gram) serving provides about 14.5 grams of protein, which is comparable to the protein content of similar foods like black beans and lentils.

The protein in chickpeas may help promote fullness and keep your appetite under control. Protein is also known for its role in weight management, bone health, and muscle strength.

Some studies have suggested that the quality of the protein in chickpeas is better than that of other types of legumes. That’s because chickpeas contain all of the essential amino acids except methionine.

For this reason, they’re an incomplete source of protein. To make sure you get all the amino acids in your diet, it’s important to pair chickpeas with a whole grain that contains methionine, such as quinoa.

3.          May help you manage your weight

Chickpeas may aid weight management due to their filling effects.

The protein and fiber in chickpeas may reduce your appetite, which may then lower your calorie intake at meals.

In one study, those who ate chickpeas regularly were 53% less likely to have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 and more likely to have a lower waist circumference than those who didn’t eat chickpeas.

While BMI remains a common health metric, keep in mind that it’s limited in its effectiveness.

Nonetheless, another review found that those who ate at least 1 daily serving of legumes, such as chickpeas, lost 25% more weight than those who didn’t eat legumes.

Although these findings are promising, more human studies are needed.

4.          May support blood sugar regulation

Chickpeas may help manage your blood sugar levels in several ways.

First, they have a fairly low glycaemic index (GI), which is a marker of how rapidly your blood sugar rises after eating a food. Diets that include many low-GI foods have been shown to promote blood sugar management.

Additionally, chickpeas’ fiber and protein may help regulate blood sugar levels.

That’s because fiber slows carb absorption to promote a steady rise in blood sugar levels rather than a spike. Eating protein-rich foods may also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

In one small study, eating 1.25 cups (200 grams) of chickpeas suppressed post-meal increases in blood sugar levels by up to 36%, compared with eating 2 slices of white bread.

An older, 12-week study found that 45 people who ate four 10.5-ounce (300-gram) cans of chickpeas per week had a notable reduction in fasting insulin levels, which is an important factor in blood sugar regulation.

What’s more, several studies associate chickpea intake with a reduced risk of several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. These effects are often attributed to their capacity to lower blood sugar levels.

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