Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are delicious legumes that come from the plant family Fabaceae. These legumes, which come in a variety of colors, are particularly popular in the Middle East and in many countries in Asia. In the United States, garbanzo beans are also widely used as an ingredient in various dishes because of their nutritional benefits, some of which are enumerated below.
Garbanzo beans contain dietary fiber, folate, and magnesium that play a role in lowering levels of cholesterol. Apart from that, dietary fiber also helps the body absorb more nutrients, regulates proper blood flow, and promotes functioning of the internal organs. Fiber is also great for weight loss. It gives you a longer feeling of fullness and gets rid of toxins from the body.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
Since these legumes are rich in dietary fiber, they are also effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. If you take in daily servings of high-fiber foods, including garbanzo beans, you can decrease your risk of heart disease by 15 percent.
One thing to love about garbanzo beans is their energy-providing qualities. These legumes can give you much-needed energy, but unlike carbohydrates, they do not have any negative effect on your blood sugar. This is because these beans have very low glycemic levels, which makes them a healthy option if you have diabetes.
Good Source of Iron
Consumption of garbanzo beans gives you good access to iron. A one-cup serving of garbanzo beans contains over 25 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron. This is good since this particular mineral provides energy to your body and distributes oxygen from your lungs to your cells.
Rich in Trace Minerals
Manganese is a trace mineral that promotes healthy enzyme functions. It also boosts the body’s antioxidant defenses and works to produce energy. Garbanzo beans are also rich in manganese. In fact, eating a serving of these legumes provides you with almost 90 percent of your required daily intake of this trace mineral. But manganese is not the only trace mineral that garbanzo beans contain. They also have molybdenum, which acts to detoxify sulfites in the body.
Good for Diabetes Management
As mentioned earlier, garbanzo beans are good if you have diabetes. For one, the dietary fiber in the beans control and balance the blood glucose levels. This helps to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels that can worsen diabetes or contribute to excessive weight gain. Fiber also increases insulin sensitivity for proper absorption.
Contains Folic Acid
Garbanzo beans also contain folic acid, which is important in preventing neural tube birth defects. This nutrient is also crucial in the development and formation of red blood cells and in the prevention of certain conditions like osteoporosis. Apart from that, it can control and lower homocysteine levels that can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.