Health Benefits of Chickpeas + Cooking Tips & Recipes!

 

health benefits of chickpeas

Have you been on this 90-day transformation journey with us the last week or so? I hope you have! If not, feel free to look back at the previous posts geared to kick us off. After, of course, you read this post about the wonderful health benefits of chickpeas!

We started this journey with the mental shift necessary for life long health. We covered essential topics like how to control your thoughts and feelings, foods that cause depression, and how to relieve stress and get better sleep.

Don’t those sound like topics that can help you make a powerful health transformation? Of course, I do.

Whether this is your first day in seeking to transform your health or your 1000nth, I’m glad you’re here.

Today, we’re shifting gears to focus on the first place where habit changes are necessary: our gut. More specifically, our microbiome.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a fabulous food with many health benefits, not the least of which occur in our gut. Therefore, before we get specific to why this amazing little bean (also known as a garbanzo bean) is so powerful, let’s look at why gut health is important.

Healthy Gut, Healthy Life

healthy gut and healthy life

Our microbiome is the newest identified organ in our body with trillions of bacteria all working to keep everyone happy. 

Imagine a crowded day at Walt Disney World. People from all over the world come to Disney for a day of enchantment. Everyone tries to get through the streets to make it to the next attraction as quickly as possible. 

Our gut is like that. Thousands of various species including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses all trying to populate and survive.

Each person has a unique network of microbiota, which is the singular form of the microbiome. This network changes with your thoughts, your exposure to the environment, and what you eat.

In other words, there are many things that impact the health of our gut and thus bodies.

Microbiota – Critical to Gut Health

Microbiota performs many important functions. Specifically, they:

  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Break down potentially toxic food compounds
  • Synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids, [2] including the B vitamins and vitamin K. 

These elements are essential for our bodies to function optimally. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals. [3]

Sugars like table sugar and lactose (milk sugar) are quickly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, but more complex carbohydrates like starches and fibers are not as easily digested and may travel lower to the large intestine. 

There, the microbiota help to break down these compounds with their digestive enzymes. 

The fermentation of indigestible fibers causes the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA can be used by the body as a nutrient source, but also play an important role in muscle function and possibly the prevention of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and bowel disorders. 

Clinical studies have shown that SCFA may be useful in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. [2]

The microbiota of a healthy person will also provide protection from pathogenic organisms that enter the body such as through drinking or eating contaminated water or food.

Did you catch all that? I know, there are lots of technical terms and words that may be new to you.

In short, all these tiny things that live in our bodies, and specifically our guts, have important jobs and contribute greatly to our overall health.

Healthy Eating, Healthy Gut

healthy eating healthy gut

When we eat high fiber foods and complex starches our microbiome keeps the friendly bacteria well fed and working to keep the unfriendly bacteria in check. 

In other words, these foods don’t let the harmful bacteria get out of control.

As a result, we gain a strong immune system and a happy life.

When we destroy the microbiome – or the friendly bacteria – with pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, or pesticides the unfriendly bacteria allow viruses to invade and travel throughout our system. Consequently, a breakdown in our defenses occurs. This leads to inflammation.

Inflammation is the first sign something is out of balance. 

Never ignore inflammation. Instead, start treating it from the inside. Heal the gut first, then address the still lingering inflammation with other natural remedies.

Moreover, always start with healing the gut first for all wellness concerns. 

The gut is the beginning of health. 

It’s the beginning of happiness. 

And the beginning of your healthier future.

In other words, gut health equals heart health equals mind health.

Now  – stay here on this site as we learn about 10 foods that heal the gut.

First up? What you’ve been waiting for: 

The Fabulous Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas were strange foreign food before I started this journey. Hummus seemed like a creamed nut dish. But, of course, that’s exactly what it is. However, I was totally unfamiliar with it.

Today, I make it often and love enjoying it weekly.

Here is a video of the creamiest hummus ever! I learned the secret.

Yet, my greatest memory is enjoying it while seated at a table overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Israel. Then having it again in our hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee! 

Any time you can walk where Jesus walked and enjoy such a delicious dish, now that is a beautiful day!

Let’s look at the nutritional manuscript written for your health with chickpeas.

These little beans do not disappoint! Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are loaded with nutrition and yummy. Chickpeas contain loads of nutrients. They are full of fiber and protein.

Chickpeas are also delicious. Specifically, they have a buttery, nutty flavor and a creamy texture. We’ll talk more about the texture later when we get to protein powders.

For now, we’ll dive into the many ways chickpeas may help boost your overall health.

What Nutrients are in Chickpeas?

As I’ve already said, chickpeas are packed with loads of nutrients.

First, chickpeas have carbs. If you’ve been told carbs are the enemy, let me put your mind to rest. 

All carbs aren’t created equal. The carbs found in chickpeas are complex. This means they are still in the unprocessed state the way God designed. And they carry with them a large supply of dietary fiber and protein.

When carbs are combined with these two power twins, the carbs are released slower and thus:

  • Help to stabilize blood sugar 
  • Create satiety 
  • Control hunger 
  • Promote weight loss
  • Bring healing to the gut barrier 
  • Help prevent leaky gut 
  • Prevent high cholesterol

In fact, chickpeas contain between 9 -12 grams of fiber and 10-15 grams of protein per serving.

Teachings about foods such as this are included in the Treasures of Healthy Living Bible study.

I say bring on the hummus! 

Chickpeas do have 4 grams of fat, But it’s a healthy fat. What do healthy fats do? They help with things like reducing heart disease risk, inflammation, and aid the immune system.

Don’t be so concerned with weight management that you miss out on healthy fats that may help you get healthy in many ways!

Chickpeas, in addition to having good carbs and good fat, also are packed with a plethora of other nutrients.

The key vitamins and minerals chickpeas have include: 

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • B vitamins, especially folate, manganese
  • Magnesium
  • And so much more!

For diabetics – chickpeas are a BFF. They prevent spikes in insulin and include a fiber called amylose which digests slowly for greater blood sugar control.

Balanced blood sugar is good for everyone, though. Not just diabetics.

What are the Health Benefits of Chickpeas

fabulous health benefits of chickpeas

We couldn’t talk about the nutrients found in chickpeas without talking about some of the ways they boost your health. But we’ve only begun to espouse the wonderful perks of chickpeas!

There are still so many more health benefits of chickpeas.

Your digestive system will also delight in the dietary fiber called raffinose. The good bacteria in the gut break this down so your colon will digest it slowly. 

So, if you like regular bowel movements and with more ease, add some chickpeas to your diet. Let’s just avoid this conversation at the dinner table.

Remember all the gut-health information we talk about above? Well, all these fibers, vitamins, and minerals packed into chickpeas are what make it such a fantastic gut-health food!

Additionally, chickpeas also may help reduce cancer risk.

When you consume chickpeas your body makes short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) called butyrate. (I know, another new, technical term!) Butyrate helps get rid of sick and dying cells. This lowers the risk of colon cancer.

Chickpeas also include lycopene and saponins, which are cancer-fighting compounds.

Benefits of Eating Chickpeas 

That was a lot of ways chickpeas aid your body to do what it’s made to do! Did you catch them all? Let’s review all the ways chickpeas, these little garbanzo beans, may help your body be healthier. Chickpeas may help:

  • stabilize blood sugar
  • weight management
  • reduce heart disease
  • promote gut health
  • reduce cancer risk

How amazing that God created so many good foods for us! Chickpeas contain so many power-packed nutrients that it’s no doubt a great addition to any healthy grocery list.

And they are so versatile. Not only are chickpeas healthy, but they can be eaten alone or as a healthy addition to a snack or meal.

We’ll look at some easy ways to use chickpeas, but first, let’s talk about how to shop for them.

How to Shop for Chickpeas

Be careful of the can.

I prefer you to buy all beans and legumes in the dry form. Watch my video here about BPA and what is known and unknown.

 

BPA is known to cause problems with infertility, brain development problems in preborn babies, infants, and children. 

Additionally, they can also cause:

  • behavior issues in children.
  • breast and prostate cancer
  • metabolic issues such as PCOS

Instead of the can, buy dry beans and get an instant pot for quick cooking. Or you can cook on the stove or crockpot for simplicity.

If you do buy canned, be sure to buy in a BPA free can, rinse thoroughly before eating them, or using in a salad or recipe.

How to Prepare and Eat Chickpeas

There are many ways to prepare chickpeas and here are just some of my favorites. Let me know how these chickpea recipes work for you!

1. Salads 

Add chickpeas into any salad dish. Here is my Italian Chickpea Salad video.

Or make the chickpeas the main ingredient in any salad. Add some tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a light balsamic vinegar dressing, for example. Truly a delight.

2. Hummus – As I said earlier, my favorite recipe is hummus. 

Want a not so top-secret tip? Boiling the cooked beans for 10 minutes with a little baking soda in the water makes the beans super creamy for blending. No more chunks in my hummus!

I have another hummus recipe you can try. It’s just as tasty as the chickpea one and definitely loaded with nutrition!

It’s beet hummus, and it is another favorite. Here is a video on how to prepare this tasty dish:

I use hummus for salad dressing, sandwich spread, add it to egg salad, and of course as veggie dips.

3. Snack

The perfect hiking food is roasted chickpeas since they’re a protein boost and hunger buster. Keep everyone happy with this treat.

Be creative with different spices on your roasted chickpeas: smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic, herbs – such as oregano.

Or go sweet with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Speaking of snacks…

I highly recommend that you try the Best Brownie Bites.

My husband loves these a lot, and I’m sure your whole family will enjoy it. And why wouldn’t they –  it has chocolate! 

Adding the protein powder lets a mom feel confident she is feeding her kids, or spouse, a delicious treat, and super nutritious!

The Best of Chickpeas Health Benefits

Finally – Protein Powders

A chickpea protein is a must to consider!

Chickpea protein is a perfect option for adding protein to smoothies, brownies, yogurt, oatmeal, or wherever you add protein.

This protein powder is my new favorite and has been for the last 12 months. I have tried several protein powders from Sachi inchi: soy, pea, and others.

This powder is primarily chickpea protein. It has a non-gritty, smooth, neutral flavor. 

Its quality is trustworthy, unlike many proteins on the market, which include fillers and heavy metals. Of course, this will not be listed on the label, so there’s no way to know unless the consumer lab does a report.

This protein powder includes a polysaccharide blend that specifically feeds the microbiome. In fact, it’s made specifically to build health in the microbiome which in turn leads to greater mental wellness.

Can I get an AMEN to mental wellness?

When choosing protein powders the company needs to prove it is clean, pure, and potent.

Chickpea protein feeds the microbiome, helps with appetite, and builds muscle mass.

There are so many amazing benefits to this little seed. Add it to your diet today as one more weapon in your arsenal of weapons against disease and fatigue.

Your body and mind will thank you!

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Annette Reeder, holds a B.S. in Nutrition from Huntington College plus a Diploma of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She has been studying food, nutrition and medical science for over 30 years.

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Why You Can’t Live Without Prebiotics and Probiotics - July 24, 2020 Reply

[…] & Lentil Recipes What are your favorite lentil recipes and why should[…]Read More  Health Benefits of Chickpeas + Cooking Tips & Recipes!Health Benefits of Chickpeas + Cooking Tips & Recipes! Have you been on this 90-day […]

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