Benefits of Chickpeas

Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas have exploded in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. They’re the essential ingredient in beloved foods like hummus, falafel, roasted chickpeas and vegetarian curries.

Meanwhile, global demand for plant-based foods is on the rise. And as people try to find ways to eat less meat, they’re seeking out plant-based proteins that are all natural, nutrient-dense and gluten-free. The mighty chickpea checks all three of those boxes.

We know you probably have some pressing questions (Is hummus good for me, and will chickpeas give me gas?). Since I wrote a book about pulses, the umbrella term for beans, lentils, dry peas and chickpeas, I know what’s good when it comes to garbanzos. Read on to find out everything there is to know about chickpeas and ways to add some simple, healthy chickpea recipes to your arsenal.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a type of pulse, a unique category within the legume family that are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. Chickpeas are actually the most widely consumed pulse in the world. They’re now grown in more than 50 countries, but were originally cultivated in the Middle East and Mediterranean (which is why many people associate them with hummus).

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy chickpeas. Chickpea flour can be used in baking or blended into smoothies. Whole chickpeas can be oven-roasted and enjoyed as a snack or added to salads, and they’re the base for Indian chana masala. Pureed chickpeas can be used to thicken soups or sauces. Meanwhile, mashed chickpeas can serve as an egg replacement in a veggie breakfast scramble, or form the base of plant-based chickpea patties.

Chickpea patties along with roasted chickpeas form the base of this hearty Mediterranean bowl.

These days, you can find a wide variety of chickpea-based desserts and treats, from chocolate-covered chickpeas and chickpea-powered protein bars to chickpea cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Mousse and meringue can also be made from aquafaba, the fluid found in canned chickpeas or the liquid left over when the dry seeds are soaked and boiled.

Is there protein in chickpeas?

One cup of canned, drained, rinsed chickpeas provides 10 grams of protein. That’s a decent amount, but it’s worth noting that this portion also supplies 34 grams of carbohydrate, with about 10 grams from dietary fiber.

When relying on chickpeas as a protein source, keep the carbs in mind. If you’re pairing them with another carb-rich food, such as quinoa, sweet potato or fruit, watch the portions to prevent carb overload.

What is the nutritional value of chickpeas?

In addition to their protein, carb and fiber content, a cup of chickpeas provides 210 caloriesand less than four grams of fat. But when it comes to chickpeas’ nutrition, they’re a true powerhouse food.

According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, people who regularly consume chickpeas and/or hummus have higher intakes of several key nutrients. These include fiber, vitamins A, E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium and iron.

Chickpeas are also chock-full of antioxidants. While the most common type consumed in the U.S., known as kabuli, are cream-colored, there are multiple types and hues of chickpeas. Smaller and darker desi chickpeas pack a greater antioxidant punch. You’ll find them in Indian markets or specialty-food stores.

Aquafaba, the fluid found in canned chickpeas, is a perfect substitute for eggs and egg whites in cooking and baking.

Are chickpeas good for weight loss?

Yes! Eating more chickpeas is a simple and effective weight-loss strategy. According to government data, chickpea/hummus consumers were 53 percent less likely to be obese. They also had lower BMIs and waist measurements compared to those who did not consume chickpeas or hummus.

One Australian study, published in Appetite, asked 42 volunteers to consume their usual diets, plus about three-and-a-half ounces of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks, and then return to their typical diets for a month.

The participants’ food diaries revealed that they ate less from every food group, particularly grains, during the three-month chickpea intervention. They also reported feeling more satisfied during the chickpea experiment. And in the four weeks after the study ended, their intake of processed snacks spiked.

Are chickpeas good for my health?

In addition to their ability to support weight loss, chickpeas improve gut health and help protect against heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

In one study, blood sugar levels were significantly lower 45 minutes after volunteers ate hummus with white bread, as compared to white bread alone. This suggests that hummus may be able to partially offset glucose spikes triggered by eating high glycemic index foods.

In animal research, scientists found a 65 percent reduction in precancerous lesions in rats whose diets contained 10 percent chickpea flour. Another concluded that after eight months, rats fed a high-fat diet plus chickpeas had less belly fat and improved lipid profiles as compared to rodents that ate a high-fat diet alone.

Chickpeas help promote weight loss, improve gut health and protect against heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Will chickpeas give me gas?

You may experience more gas when you first up your chickpea intake, but your body will adapt. One study from Arizona State University actually measured this using beans. Over eight weeks, 40 volunteers added either a half-cup of canned carrots daily or a half cup of beans. Within the first week, about 35 percent of the bean eaters reported an increase in flatulence. (Note: 65 percent did not!) By week two, only 19 percent reported excess gas. And the number continued to drop weekly — down to 3 percent by week eight, the same response as the carrot eaters pegged as the control group. Because chickpeas are in the same family as beans, you can expect a similar GI adjustment. If you purchase canned chickpeas, rinsing them thoroughly can also help curb bloating.

How do you cook chickpeas?

Buying canned chickpeas is A-OK, but if you want to buy them dried and cook them yourself, it’s easy. For a quick soak use three cups of cold water for each cup of chickpeas, boil for two minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour, then drain. After soaking, combine three cups water for every cup of chickpeas, bring to a quick boil, and then simmer for one-and-a-half to two hours.

Is hummus good for you?

The ingredients in premade hummus can vary widely. Some are simply made with chickpeas combined with olive oil, tahini and seasonings like garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Others, however, can be made with lower-quality oils (like soybean oil) and artificial preservatives.

When shopping for hummus, read the ingredient list first. It should read like a recipe you could have made in your own kitchen. One of my favorite brands is Hope. Its original version is made with chickpeas, water, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, spices, citric acid (to preserve freshness), garlic powder and cayenne.

clean-ingredient hummus is a healthy snack when paired with raw veggies. It can also be used as a creamy salad dressing, a thickener for soup, a mayo alternative or topping for cooked potatoes or spaghetti squash.

Chickpea pasta is gluten-free and most often higher in protein, fiber and nutrients than wheat- or semolina-based pasta.

What’s the deal with chickpea pasta?

Chickpea pasta is made with chickpea flour instead of semolina, or wheat-based flour. The formulations vary, however, so be sure to check the ingredients. Some brands bolster the protein content by adding pea protein derived from yellow split peas (another type of pulse), and others add white rice flour.

The main benefits of chickpea pasta are that it’s gluten-free and generally higher in protein, fiber and nutrients as compared to its traditional counterpart.

Are garbanzo beans chickpeas?

The terms garbanzo beans and chickpeas are used interchangeably. Garbanzo, the Spanish word for chickpea, is thought to originally come from the Basque word for chickpea, “garbantzu,” meaning dry seed.

Try some of our best chickpea recipes!

In addition to being affordable and readily available, chickpeas are also extremely versatile to cook with. If you’re new to chickpeas, try this easy recipe for oven-roasting them. As you get more experienced, test out different types of seasonings to vary the flavors. You can make savory versions or sweet, such as cinnamon or cocoa-ginger chickpeas.

For breakfast or a snack, give your avocado toast a nutritional boost by adding homemade hummus. For a filling and energizing lunch you can pack for work, toss together this chickpea salad. And if you like it spicy, check out this warm, hearty and healthy chickpea curry.

For DIY hummus that’s as beautiful as it is delicious, whip up this beet-based hummus recipe. Or if you’re more into a smoky hummus with a sizzling kick, try this chipotle version.

Did we answer every question you had about garbanzo beans, chickpeas or whatever you like to call them?

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea With Chicory

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea With Chicory

Roasted barley tea, which is popular in the Far East, is usually called barley coffee when it’s served in the United States. Chicory is often paired with ground coffee, and when it’s combined with roasted barley, the resulting beverage gains a depth of flavor and color. Barley and chicory each contain natural antioxidants. While there’s only preliminary research into the roles of these antioxidants, they might have benefits as diverse as preventing cavities to potentially fighting cancer.

Roasted Barley and Chicory Basics

Roasted barley and chicory are both enjoyed as caffeine-free coffee substitutes. Blends containing chicory and coffee are favorites in some areas, such as New Orleans. Both ingredients are sometimes added to ground coffee as fillers, where they add to the coffee’s bulk during times when problems such as drought affect the amount of coffee harvested.

The chicory used in coffee comes from the root of the common chicory plant, which is roasted and ground. To make tea from roasted barley, the whole grains must be simmered in water for about 20 minutes.

Source of Antioxidant Flavonoids

Barley tea contains a variety of plant-based compounds called flavonoids, including quercetin, reported an article published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in 2004. These compounds act as antioxidants.

In laboratory tests, antioxidants from barley inhibited the growth of cancer cells by blocking damage to DNA from reactive molecules called free radicals, according to a report published in the January 2009 issue of Phytomedicine. However, more studies must be conducted to determine whether antioxidants in barley tea fight cancer in people.

Promotes Dental Health

Drinking barley tea with chicory may keep your teeth healthy because both ingredients help prevent cavities. Barley tea contains compounds called melanoidins, while chicory contributes quinic acid. These substances help inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Roasted barley tea, or coffee, stopped bacteria from sticking to tooth enamel in lab tests, according to a report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in December 2006. The report also noted that the active substance, melanoidin, likely develops when barley is roasted. However, it’s not yet known exactly how much roasted barley tea reduces the incidence of cavities in people.

Added Benefit From Chicory

The compounds responsible for chicory’s bitter taste may add to the benefits from drinking barley tea with chicory. These active ingredients, called sesquiterpene lactones, are easily extracted from chicory roots. In fact, tea made with chicory root is a source of sesquiterpenes.

Chicory root extract containing sesquiterpene lactones reduced inflammation caused by colon cancer cells, which may help prevent the growth of new cancer cells, according to studies cited in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in June 2013. Since studies so far have been in the lab, research using people is needed to verify whether they have the same effect in the human body.

Organic Rice, Grains & Beans is available to purchase at SFMart.com

This article is originally posted on Live Strong

7 Important Benefits Of Black Beans

The health benefits of black beans include the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Consuming black beans can also aid in digestion and the regulation of the body’s blood sugar levels. Black beans can be beneficial for various nervous system functions, can reduce the chances of birth defects, neutralize the negative effects of sulfites, and even prevent impotence in men.

What are Black Beans?

Black turtle beans, more commonly known as black beans, are shiny, black members of the bean family Phaseolus vulgaris. [1] They are most commonly found in and have been popularized by Latin American cuisine, and are known by many names in various cultures throughout South and Central America. There are six main types of black turtle beans, with relatively similar appearances and nutritional values.

Although they have been cultivated and cooked for thousands of years in South America, black beans did not cross the Atlanticuntil the 1500s in the boats of European explorers.

The general form of black beans can be changed without losing the nutritional benefits, although some may be lost when they are made into soups or when ground up and exposed to high temperatures. The widespread growth and low cost are what initially made black beans a cultural staple in South America. However, as more information is being gained about the health benefits of black beans, more people are including them in their diet.

One popular preparation technique is to soak black beans in water before cooking or eating them. [2] Studies have shown that by allowing the beans to soak in water, certain phytates and tannins are removed, which lowers the nutrient availability, and the beans also retain beneficial resistant starch while losing some of the total carbohydrate content. In some parts of the world, beans are given an independent box in the Food Pyramid, because they are such a vital part of those cultural diets.

They are very popular among vegetarians because when they are combined with brown rice, a complete protein meal is formed. [3] A common problem in vegetarian diets is acquiring proper amounts of protein, so black beans and brown rice can be a simple and inexpensive solution.

Nutritional Value of Black Beans

Black beans are very high in fiber, protein, and vitamins like vitamin A. They also contain calciumiron, and manganese. Black beans also have high levels of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanin, which have antioxidant abilities. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid, which is considered a good form of cholesterol.

Black beans are a great source of folic acid and have abnormally high levels of the rare compound molybdenum, which is very difficult to find in any other food.

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Adding black beans to your diet will provide you with many nutrients and help prevent various health conditions. Let us look at the benefits in detail below:

Improve Heart Health

One of the best benefits of adding black beans to your daily or weekly diet is the high level of fiber that they contain. They have high concentrations of soluble fiber, which has been proven to help lower blood cholesterol levels. [4] Soluble fiber attracts water and turns into a gel during digestion, whereas insoluble fiber adds mass to food and helps it pass through the digestive system faster. Lowering blood cholesterol can reduce thickening of the artery walls, which in turn can prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Black beans also have small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good forms of cholesterol that balance the negative effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are the bad form of cholesterol. [5] They have anti-hypertensive effects, which means that they can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and put less strain or oxidative stress on the cardiovascular system.

Prevent Cancer

Black beans have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers due to the flavonoids found in their seed coat. [6]There are eight different flavonoids that have been found in the seed coat, and three of them are anthocyanins. Flavonoids are basically color-producing phytonutrient pigments that function as antioxidants in the body to fight disease and free radicals.

Anthocyanins are great for preventing cancer. They can effectively inhibit blood vessel growth to cancerous tumors, slowing the growth of cancerous cells and increasing the speed of apoptosis (cell death) within cancer cells. The anthocyanins, along with all the other phytonutrients found on the seed coat, make black beans a very powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.

Relieve Digestive Issues

Black beans are great for treating digestive issues because they contain high levels of protein and fiber, making them a “superfood”. [7] Protein and fiber help food move through the digestive tract, allowing it to eliminate waste in a healthy way. They are also digested slower than meat, which has a similar protein content, so eating beans can leave you satisfied for longer.

Black beans are also smaller in size than other beans, because of which people find them easier to digest. Over time, with a regular addition of black beans to the diet, the soluble fiber content will absorb water into your stool, which can reduce constipation. [8]

Control Blood Sugar

Uneven digestive rates can cause unbalanced blood sugar levels in the body and black beans regulate this issue as well. [9] As mentioned above, the fiber and protein in black beans keep digestion at a steady rate, so concentrated doses of nutrient uptake do not occur. Rather, a steady absorption of nutrients occurs throughout the digestive process. When digestion is unsteady, spikes or crashes in blood sugar can occur, which are dangerous and even fatal to patients with diabetes or similar blood sugar-related conditions.blackbeansinfo

Treat Sexual Dysfunction

Studies have shown that black beans are extremely high in molybdenum, a rare mineral not found frequently in foods. Molybdenum is important for a number of reasons, primarily because it can break down and detoxify sulfites. [10] Sulfites are acidic compounds found in wines, dried fruits, and some vegetables, and many people are very sensitive to their effects, which include a headache and disorientation. The molybdenum found in black beans counteracts these effects, neutralizing the negative effects so people can enjoy those foods again. Molybdenum also helps in cell energy production and development of nervous system. [11]

Also, molybdenum has been shown to reduce impotence and erectile dysfunction in older men when regularly consumed. [12] This rare vitamin has regularly been linked to increased energy and interest in sexual activity in older men.

Boost Nervous System

Black beans can also improve the functioning of the nervous system by helping provide the necessary amino acids and molybdenum. [13] They contain high amounts of vitamin B9 or folate. Folate, also known as folic acid, plays a key part in the regulation of specific amino acids required by the nervous system. Studies have shown that the deficiency of dietary folate leads to an increase in homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Regularly adding black beans to your diet can provide the necessary folate content to levels in your body and reduce the risk of such diseases.

Improve Pre-Natal Health

Another benefit of folate, which is found in such high levels within black beans, is its role in protecting infants in the womb. The folate levels in a woman’s body are integral to the normal and healthy development of the fetus, particularly its brain and spinalcord. [14] Thus, black beans are highly recommended for pregnant women.

Side Effects of Black Beans

Phytic Acid: Beans have natural seed coats that protect their nutritious contents from predators and insects while growing in nature. One of the components of that seed coat is phytic acid, which protects the seed from premature germination. [15] If the phytic acid is not removed from the bean before eating, it can bind to common minerals like calciummagnesium, and copper, preventing them from being absorbed as nutrients in the body. These unabsorbed minerals can build up and cause different conditions, from small irritations like digestive irritability to more serious issues like hormonal disruption and impaired brain function. Basically, cook your beans, and make sure they are soaked in water to neutralize the harmful effects of phytic acid!

Oligosaccharides: Black beans contain a complex sugar called oligosaccharides, and the human body does not produce any enzyme that would naturally break that sugar down. [2] Therefore, oligosaccharides ferment in the digestive system and begin to produce methane, which is released from the body in unpleasant ways. Again, soaking the beans in water and making sure that they are cooked can greatly reduce a number of oligosaccharides in the beans, along with reducing all of the other organicparts of beans that are difficult to digest.

Organic Rice, Grains & Beans is available to purchase at SFMart.com

This article is originally posted on Organic Facts