When switching over to a gluten-free diet it can be difficult to find foods that fit into your new requirements that are also filling and tasty.
One of the options available is chickpeas, which are not only gluten-free but also easy to make and satisfying. They can be prepared in several ways, and they add a good boost of protein to help balance your diet and make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
Below, I’ll talk about the advantages of adding chickpeas to your gluten-free diet, as well as make a few suggestions on ways to incorporate them into your meals.
What Are Chickpeas?
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a type of legume. It’s a great source of protein and fiber and can make for a fantastic snack as well as being a good addition to various dishes.
They are considered a superfood since they are a complete protein, containing all nine amino acids which are essential for keeping our bodies functioning properly. They are also a great source of calcium and iron.
Are Chickpeas Gluten-Free?
The simple answer is that, yes, chickpeas are gluten-free. This makes them an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates for those that are unable to consume gluten due to celiac disease, or for those who want to reduce their gluten intake for other reasons.
Raw chickpeas are gluten-free and reasonably simple to prepare. They can be boiled for about ten minutes and eaten that way, or if they are dried they may take an hour or two to boil. In India, chickpeas are often blended into a paste with other ingredients to make hummus.
Why Are Chickpeas So Popular?
Because chickpeas are such a great source of fiber, and protein, and have all those amino acids, they are a very healthy and satisfying addition to any diet. Its nutritious value has made it a staple in India and many Middle Eastern countries.
Chickpeas have a naturally nutty flavor and texture profile, which means that they can blend in with a lot of different dishes, making them a great addition to many recipes.
Can You Eat Chickpeas Raw?
Unfortunately, chickpeas contain toxins like lectins that can cause food poisoning and make you very sick if they are consumed raw, so it’s important to cook them properly. Even if they don’t cause food poisoning, eating them raw can still cause stomach aches and digestive problems.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Chickpeas?
Because chickpeas are so loaded with nutrients, they have many health benefits that make them such a good choice for a well-rounded diet.
Help Control Blood Sugar
Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which effectively makes your body absorb and digest them more slowly. Since it takes time for your body to absorb them, it helps to stabilize your insulin levels throughout the day.
They are naturally high in fiber, especially soluble fiber. Since your gut’s good bacteria take time to break down this fiber, it aids your digestive system and can make bowel movements easier while helping you to be more regular.
That same soluble fiber that is so good for your gut health is also great for your cholesterol. Eating chickpeas can help lower your overall cholesterol as well as your bad cholesterol specifically, lowering your risk of heart disease.
May Lower Your Risk Of Cancer
Consuming chickpeas triggers your body to produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. This fatty acid has been shown to help the body get rid of sick and dying cells, thus lowering your risk of colorectal cancer. There are also other cancer-fighting compounds in chickpeas.
Chickpeas are high in calcium and because of that, they can help to strengthen your bones, adding density. There are also other nutrients that aid in bone strength, such as magnesium and fiber. Just be sure to soak them to get rid of phytates that can prevent absorption.
May Boost Mental Health
Yet another great nutrient that chickpeas possess is something called choline, which helps make helpful chemicals in the brain that aid memory, and muscle control, and stabilizes your mood. It can even help your nervous system, making chickpeas a truly powerful superfood.
Which country is famous for chickpeas?
Because it is the largest producer of chickpeas, India is known for this incredible legume. It produces up to 65% of the world’s chickpeas, and exports over 200 thousand pounds yearly.
After India, Australia is the country that consumes the most chickpeas, though they are rapidly growing in popularity in the United States.
What are the easiest ways to prepare chickpeas?
One of the simplest ways to cook chickpeas is simply to add them to a crockpot and cover with water, then allow it to cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours. This will allow the legumes time to absorb all that moisture and cook to the right consistency.
Another method is to boil canned chickpeas in a pan on the stove. Drain the chickpeas in the sink and rinse them well. You can either use a strainer or just fill the can with water and drain it again.
Either way, once that’s done you can add them to a pan with water and bring them to a boil. Make sure they are spread out so that they are in one layer on the bottom of the pan. Once they’ve boiled for about five minutes, strain them and they’re ready to be served or stored.
Can I eat chickpeas every day?
Although chickpeas are very nutritious and contain a lot of healthy vitamins, it is important to ensure you aren’t eating too much of them. Consuming too much of a high-fiber food item like chickpeas can cause digestive issues like bloating, gas, or an upset stomach.
Given their extraordinary health benefits, chickpeas are a popular superfood. They are gluten-free and high in fiber and protein making them an excellent choice to replace meat products. There are a host of ways to prepare them and a lot of benefits to your health outside of their status as a gluten-free product.
Find out whether chickpeas are gluten-free and what other health benefits these legumes offer!