Garbanzo beans, also commonly known as chickpeas, are a delicious legume with a creamy texture and a nutty flavor. They are cream-colored and fairly round with a curvy tip in the middle. Garbanzo beans are popular in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes and provide plenty of protein and fiber for a healthy, plant-based diet. More recently garbanzo bean flour has become popular in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Disease/Ailments:

Digestive disorders
Cardiovascular disease prevention
Cancer prevention

Health benefits:

Digestion: Legumes are known for their fiber content and can aid in regulating digestive function. Garbanzo beans have 50% of the recommended daily fiber in one cup, primarily providing insoluble fiber which aids in many functions of the colon and lowers risk of developing colon cancer.

Antioxidant: In addition to vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene, there are phytonutrients present in garbanzo beans that account for most of the antioxidant health benefits. These phytonutrients include the flavonoids and phenolic acids and support body systems susceptible to free radicals.

Cardiovascular disease prevention: There are many studies that show increased consumption of legumes decrease heart disease risk. The legumes help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Blood sugar regulation: Protein and fiber are essential in regulating the absorption rate of sugar into the bloodstream. Both help in stabilizing the flow of food in the digestive tract and preventing the breakdown of food from occurring too fast or too slow.

Good source of:

Fiber, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, folate

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: Garbanzo beans can be purchased dried or canned and can be found at any grocery store. While canned vegetables lose much of their nutrients through the canning process, garbanzo beans only lose 15 % of their nutrients.

Storing: Dried garbanzo beans should be stored in an airtight container in a dry and dark place and can last for up to 12 months. Cooked garbanzo beans can last up to three days in a covered container that is stored in the refrigerator.

Enjoying:

  • Dried beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker, on the stovetop, or in the microwave. To cook beans on a stovetop, add three cups of water for each cup of dried beans. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, partially covering the pot. Skim any foam on the top and cook until the beans are tender. Canned beans can be a quick alternative.
  • Add garbanzo beans to soups and salads. They work particularly well in Mediterranean dishes.
  • Puree garbanzo beans with olive oil, tahinin, garlic, and lemon juice for an easy hummus.

 

Resources & recipes:

 

Mexican chickpea recipe: http://www.vegangela.com/2011/11/11/mexican-chickpea-salad/

Chana masala: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/maindishentreerecipes/r/ChanaMasala.htm

Curried chickpeas and quinoa: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/04/ridiculously-easy-curried-chickpeas-quinoa.html

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30368-spicy-oven-roasted-chickpeas

 

 

References:

Hernandez-Salazar M, Osorio-Diaz P, Loarca-Pina G et al. In vitro fermentability and antioxidant capacity of the indigestible fraction of cooked black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), lentils (Lens culinaris L.) and chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.). J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Jul;90(9):1417-22. 2010.

Mallillin AC, Trinidad TP, Raterta R et al. Dietary fibre and fermentability characteristics of root crops and legumes. The British Journal of Nutrition. Cambridge: Sep 2008. Vol. 100, Iss. 3; p. 485-488. 2008.

Murty CM, Pittaway JK and Ball MJ. Chickpea supplementation in an Australian diet affects food choice, satiety and bowel health. Appetite. 2010 Apr;54(2):282-8. Epub 2009 Nov 27. 2010.

Pittaway JK, Ahuja KDK, Cehun M et al. Dietary Supplementation with Chickpeas for at Least 5 Weeks Results in Small but Significant Reductions in Serum Total and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterols in Adult Women and Men. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. Basel: Feb 2007. Vol. 50, Iss. 6; p. 512-518. 2007.

Pittaway JK, Ahuja KDK, Robertson IK et al. Effects of a Controlled Diet Supplemented with Chickpeas on Serum Lipids, Glucose Tolerance, Satiety and Bowel Function. J. Am. Coll. Nutr., Aug 2007; 26: 334 – 340. . 2007.

Pittaway JK, Robertson IK and Ball MJ. Chickpeas may influence fatty acid and fiber intake in an ad libitum diet, leading to small improvements in serum lipid profile and glycemic control. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jun;108(6):1009-13. 2008.

Segev A, Badani H, Kapulnik Y et al. Determination of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity in colored chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). J Food Sci. 2010 Mar;75(2):S115-9. 2010.

Sreerama YN, Sashikala VB and Pratape VM. Variability in the distribution of phenolic compounds in milled fractions of chickpea and horse gram: evaluation of their antioxidant properties. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jul 28;58(14):8322-30. 2010.

Yang Y, Zhou L, Gu Y et al. Dietary chickpeas reverse visceral adiposity, dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance in rats induced by a chronic high-fat diet. Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct;98(4):720-6. Epub 2007 Aug 1. 2007.

Zia-Ul-Haq M, Iqbal S, Ahmad S et al. Antioxidant potential of desi chickpea varieties commonly consumed in Pakistan. Journal of Food Lipids, Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 326-342, August 2008. 2008.

 

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4326/2

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58


About the Author

Ashley Kim

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners.” – William Shakespeare

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