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Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Garbanzo Beans Nutritional Information

Garbanzo beans also called as chickpeas are a good source of protein that can be included in the diet in dried or canned form year round. Garbanzo beans have a delicious buttery texture and a nut like flavor. They are available in a variety of colors like green, brown, red and black and are used in many Indian and Middle East recipes like falafels, hummus and curries. Garbanzo beans are a good source of protein and when combined with whole grains and cereals provide negligible fat and high quality proteins.

Health Benefits of Garbanzo Beans

The fiber from garbanzo beans, like most of the other legumes helps lower cholesterol by binding with bile and eliminating it from the body. Besides lowering cholesterol, fiber from garbanzo beans also help to control blood sugar levels in people with irregular glucose metabolism like in diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance.

Garbanzo beans may help to maintain the blood sugar levels by slowly burning the energy and providing steady amounts of glucose to the blood. The insoluble fiber in garbanzo beans helps to relieve constipation by increasing the stool bulk and may also prevent gastrointestinal disorders like diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Garbanzo beans lower the risk of getting a heart attack and death from other coronary heart diseases. Researchers found that including legumes as a part of a healthy diet is associated with 82 % reduction in the risk of heart diseases and especially garbanzo beans in diet significantly lowers both LDL and total cholesterol in the body.

Folate along with magnesium helps to keep the levels of homocysteine in check, as an increase value is associated with a risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium is also a natural calcium channel blocker and helps improve blood flow throughout the body.

Molybdenum is an important component of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme required for detoxification of sulfites. Sulfites when consumed in higher amounts (commonly added in prepared foods and salad bars) can cause headache, rapid heartbeat or disorientation. This reaction to sulfites is only possible when the body stores of molybdenum are low.

The iron from garbanzo beans helps to replenish the low stores in the body and is especially important for menstruating women who are at high risk of anemia. Unlike meat it is wise to include garbanzo peas in diet as a source of iron as they are virtually fat free and low in calories.

Submitted on January 16, 2014