Commonly known as ‘Kala chana’ (Hindi) in India, chickpeas are a part of the vegetarian diet in India. These are basically legumes belonging to the Fabaceae family. The plants are short in height and are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. The seeds are excellent sources of protein. There are generally two varieties of chickpeas, ‘desi’ and ‘kabuli’. The ‘desi’ variety comprises of darker smaller seeds having a rough outer covering whereas the ‘kabuli’ variety are comparatively larger light colored beans with a smoother coat.
Black chickpeas, also known as Bengal grams, Garbanzo beans or ‘kala chana’ belong to the ‘desi’ variety and have a much higher fiber content and lower glycemic index. Being an extremely versatile legume, it is widely used in a variety of Middle Eastern and Indian dishes like falafels, hummus and curries as well as salads, soups and stews or even as a quick snack. In addition to their delicious nut like taste and buttery texture, black chickpeas are extremely beneficial for health.
Black Chickpeas Nutrition Value:
Being low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, black chickpeas can indeed be a healthy addition to your diet. Two to three tablespoons of these legumes are equivalent to one portion of the daily recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables. The health benefits of black chickpeas are as follows.
Serving: 100 g
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Black Chickpeas Benefits
Health Benefits Of Black Chickpea
1. Aids in Weight Loss:
Inclusion of fiber-rich foods in your diet can greatly contribute to weight loss. Black chickpeas are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber facilitates the excretion of bile and ferries by forming a gel like substance in the digestive tract whereas insoluble fiber prevents constipation and other digestive disorders. Moreover, fiber fills up your stomach, making you feel satiated for longer and curbs hunger cravings. Drinking water boiled with chickpeas helps in reducing appetite. Thus, consuming legumes like black chickpeas can be more effective in weight loss than simply cutting calories.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits:
Black chickpeas contain a unique combination of antioxidants, anthocyanins, delphindin, cyanidin and petunidin as well as phytonutrients and ALA that maintain the health of blood vessels and prevent oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Black chickpeas contain considerable amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate lowers the homocysteine levels thus minimizing the risk of narrowing of arteries by plaque formation, blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
3. Lowers Cholesterol:
The soluble fiber in black chickpeas binds the bile acids and prevents them from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol levels. Daily consumption of around ¾ cup of chickpeas helps to decrease LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol triglycerides. Moreover, the dietary fiber of black chick peas is superior to that found in other foods.
4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar and Low Glycemic Index (GI):
The soluble fiber in black chickpeas controls the absorption and release of blood sugar. Moreover, chickpeas have low glycemic index of 28 to 32 which means that the carbohydrate in them is broken down and digested slowly. This aids in weight loss by controlling appetite. The low GI causes blood sugar to rise moderately and slowly leading to lower blood sugar levels. Consuming ½ a cup of black chickpeas a day is effective in controlling blood sugar in just a week.
5. Prevention of Diabetes:
As already stated, the carbohydrates in legumes such as black chickpeas are digested slowly, thus reducing the blood sugar levels. This contributes to insulin resistance, thereby reducing the risk of getting type-2 diabetes.
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6. Great Source of Iron:
Being a rich source of iron, black chickpeas can prevent anemia and boost your energy levels. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant or lactating women as well as growing children. Iron plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin by transporting oxygen from the lungs to all body cells and is an important component of enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.
7. Good Source of Protein for Vegetarians:
Black chickpeas are an alternative source of protein for vegetarians as these legumes in combination with whole grain or whole wheat protein, provide significant amounts of protein which are comparable to that of meat and dairy as well as devoid of high calories or saturated fats.
8. Beneficial for Women:
The phytonutrients called saponins act as antioxidants to reduce the risk of breast cancer, prevent osteoporosis and minimize hot flushes in post-menopausal women. Eating roasted chickpeas mixed with brown sugar and desi ghee helps in curing leucorrhea. Drinking water boiled with chickpeas can prevent miscarriage.
9. Treatment of Digestive Disorders:
Black chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber, 2/3rd of which comprises of insoluble fiber which is vital for maintaining the health of digestive tract. The fiber reduces the risk of painful diverticulitis disease and constipation by reducing the strain on your intestines. In case of dysentery, soak 2 handfuls of chick peas seed coats in 500 ml of water overnight and drink this water after straining, the next morning for relief. For curing constipation, soak chickpeas in water overnight and eat them in the morning after sprinkling ginger powder and caraway seeds (jeera) as well as drink the separated water.
10. Prevention of Cancer:
The soluble fiber contained in black chickpeas reaches the colon where it is broken down by the bacteria into short chain fatty acids which are absorbed by the colon cells and used for energy. This enables the colon cells to stay healthy and reduces the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer.
11. Other Benefits:
In case of stones in kidney or bladder, you can soak a handful of split chick peas in water overnight and eat the chickpeas with honey the next morning. Jaundice patients can eat a handful of black chickpeas soaked in water along with jaggery (gur) and drink the same water when thirsty for improvement in condition. This water is also effective in preventing frequent vomiting.
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Skin Benefits of Black Chickpeas:
Black chickpeas are rich in folates, dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates, copper, iron and phosphorus and devoid of sodium and cholesterol. They can be beneficial to your skin in the following ways.
12. Treatment of Leucoderma:
Leucoderma is a disease characterized by white spots on the skin. Those having leucoderma can soak a handful of chickpea seeds along with 10 grams triphala churan in 125 ml of water for 24 hours and eat them when sprouts appear. Doing this religiously for a few months can be effective in getting rid of white spots.
13. Treatment of Ringworm Infection:
Eating a roti made from black chickpea flour every day for a month or two without salt can cure ringworm infections.
14. Facial Skin Care:
Black chick peas is split with skin removed and ground to make ‘besan’ which is excellent for skincare and is often used in face packs to give you flawless glowing skin.
15. Healing Properties:
Paste made form black chickpeas has great healing properties and applying it along with sandalwood paste can remove acne and pimple scars, treat sunburns and various other skin inflammations. Apply equal quantities of both the pastes on the scars, leave overnight and wash off the next morning with lukewarm water to see the desired effect.
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Hair Benefits of Black Chickpeas:
We all long for healthy and lustrous hair. But unfortunately our unhealthy lifestyle as well as exposure to environmental pollution and harmful chemicals leave our hair damaged and cause several hair problems. Being a healthy food, black chickpeas can be beneficial for your hair in a number of ways.
16. Promotes Hair Growth:
Black chickpeas contain vitamin B6 and zinc. Both these minerals play an important role in building up the protein in hair, thereby strengthening your hair follicles and promoting hair growth.
17. Combats Hair Loss:
The combination of vitamin A and zinc in black chickpeas are vital for hair health and deficiency of any one of these in the diet can cause dandruff and hair loss.
18. Treatment of Dandruff:
In order to get rid of dandruff, you can mix 4 tablespoons of black chickpea flour in around 250 ml water and massage your hair with it for a couple of minutes before washing.
19. Prevents Greying of Hair:
Black chickpeas are loaded with protein and manganese. Manganese prevents your hair from changing pigmentation i.e. greying of hair.
Now that you know of its many health benefits, we are sure you will show it more love. Grab them right now and start your way to good health!