Chickpea -The happy pods
As cheerful as the name of the chickpea (cicer arietinum) may sound, baby chicks has nothing to do with it. The health benefits of chickpeas is numerous.
It is derived from the Latin word “cicer”, which originally means pea. When it came to naming, there was nothing to laugh at first, although we could already smile at the fact that we call the chick pea, strictly speaking, “pea pea”.
The wrinkled legumes were already being cultivated by minor Asians about 8000 years ago and from there they started their triumphal procession to India and the Mediterranean region.
The chick pea finally came to us with the merchant ships in the early Middle Ages – and it remained to this day, because its buttery and nutty taste harmoniously fits into many dishes and gives it the popular oriental touch.
Particularly well-known are culinary delights such as hummus (pureed chickpeas), falafel (fried chickpea balls) or curry dishes with a base of chickpeas.
In many regions of the world, chickpeas together with other legumes, are a basic foodstuff. Especially in Mexico and India they are appreciated because of their outstanding combination of nutrients and their cost-effective price.
Chickpea and Hildegard von Bingen
“The chickpea is warm and pleasant, and easy to eat, and it does not add to those who eat it the evil juices, but whoever has a fever, fry the chickpeas over fresh coals, eat them, and he will be healed.”
In the meantime, however, there are also numerous scientific evidence for the health-giving properties of the chick pea, so that today we no longer have to rely solely on Hildegard’s prophecies.
The chick pea is even considered so healthy that regular chickpeas consumption is even suggested by all health organizations.
Eat chickpeas – also daily!
The Vegetarian Association of Germany and the Swiss Society of Nutrition recommend the weekly chickpea consumption of at least one to two servings.
One portion corresponds approximately to an amount of 40 grams of dried or 100 grams of cooked pods.
However, the US nutrition guidelines from 2005, which were developed jointly by the US health and agricultural ministries, had however, significantly higher consumption recommendations.
In many studies, even larger quantities are recommended, namely, 200-400 grams of cooked pulses per day, on the grounds that the increased consumption of pods is associated with a more stable health and an increased level of performance.
If you look at the characteristics of the chick pea, this is no wonder:
The nutrients and vital substances of chickpeas
Even a portion of cooked chickpeas (about 165 g) covers
- 70 percent of the daily folic acid requirement
- 65 per cent of the daily copper requirement
- 50 percent of the daily dietary fiber requirement
- 25 percent of the daily iron requirement
- 20 percent of the daily zinc requirement.
The whole thing, of course, with a low glycemic index (GI) and moderate calorie intake.The chickpeas have a particularly positive effect on digestion due to the high fiber content
Chickpeas for healthy digestion
Another health benefit of chickpeas is healthy digestion. 2/3 of chickpea dietary fibers are insoluble. They thus pass through the digestive tract unchanged until they reach the colon.
On their way, they help to stimulate intestinal peristalsis, clean the intestines and maintain a healthy intestinal environment.
In the last section of the intestine, the bacteria of the intestine partially decompose the indigestible fibers into short-chain fatty acids, such as acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid.
These short-chain fatty acids are absorbed by the cells of the colorectal wall and used as a source of energy.
The dietary fiber of the chick peas thus help to keep the intestinal mucosa healthy, which in turn can significantly reduce the risk of colorectal problems, including colorectal cancer.
Chickpeas protect heart and circulation
Whoever wants to improve his blood fat values and thus his heart and vascular health should always also think of chickpea. It counteracts arteriosclerosis changes in several ways and thus reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease.The high saponin content of the chick pea (50 mg per kilogram of chickpeas) is mainly responsible for the blood-fat-reducing effect of the tasty pod.
Saponins combine with the cholesterol molecules of the food to form insoluble complexes so that they can not enter the blood circulation through the intestine. In addition, saponins bind galenic acids as such, so that the liver must use the cholesterol reservoirs of the body in order to form new Gallic acids
The extremely swellable dietary fibers of the chick pea also contribute to lower cholesterol levels.
Similar to the saponins, the dietary fibers bind to the fats in the intestine so that they do not enter the blood, but are simply excreted with the stool.
It is therefore not surprising that large-scale epidemiological studies on health and nutrition research have shown that even 150 grams of cooked chickpeas per day can help reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels, overall cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels within one month Noticeably lower.
Practically, chick peas regulate the blood glucose level due to their high fiber and protein content, which is particularly interesting for diabetics or for people with insulin resistance.
Chickpeas – perfect for diabetes
Chinese scientists found that the chick pea can contribute to a healthier pancreatic function (increased insulin delivery) as well as to a reduction in insulin resistance.
The chickpea showed similar effects on glucose in an Australian study. Here, the subjects consumed at least 728 grams of chickpeas per week. As a result, fewer blood glucose values were measured within one week than before.
This effect is beneficial not only to diabetics, but to all those who often have to contend with blood pressure fluctuations or hot-shower attacks as well as people who want to lose weight. Because the less hot throats and the more balanced the blood glucose level, the easier the weight loss.
Full and slender with chickpeas
Another health benefit of chickpea is that it keeps you full and fit at the same time.
In studies, it was also shown that chick peas are very satisfying.The participants in the most recent study found that they were eating less food and eating less calories when eating chickpeas.
The subjects reported a higher degree of saturation, which led to a reduced appetite and made the handle to intermediate meal times increasingly rare.
Since chickpea is also quite low in calories (100 g of cooked chickpeas have only 120 kcal), it represents an ideal support for all who have not yet reached their ideal weight.
At the same time, the chickpea is an excellent source of protein, which is particularly interesting for people whose eating plan excludes other sources of protein, for example vegan or vegetarian.
Chickpeas – The top protein source
Even a portion of boiled chick peas (about 220 g) provides 20 grams of protein and can therefore absorb well with the typical animal protein sources.
For comparison, 100 grams of chicken breast fillet contain 16 grams of protein, 100 grams of pork fillet 23 grams and 100 grams of beef fillet 19 grams of protein.
Thus, the legumes are also a healthy and attractive alternative to the usual supplements such as potatoes or noodles, whose high carbohydrate content makes these foods less and less popular and which also saturate far less.
The biological value of the chickpea protein can also be increased if the chick pea is combined in a meal with paranuts or sunflower cores and / or seasoned with yeast flakes.