pulses | chikpea nutrition & chikpea health benefits - Health & Food

            Health benefits of black chickpeas

Although chikpea have been consumed for thousands of years for their nutritional qualities , it is only during the past two to three decades that the interest in pulses as food and their potential impact on human health been revived. Chickpea consumption is reported to have some physiologic benefits that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and optimize health. Therefore, chickpeas could potentially be considered as a ‘functional food’.

Chik peas
                                                        Chik peas

Do you Want to strengthen your immune system? If yes, then consider adding black chickpea to your diet. A type of bean, very similar to yellow chickpeas, it’s loaded with nutrients like iron, protein, copper and vitamins, all of which are good for building your immune system.

Mostly, non-vegetarians get their share of protein from fish and chicken but for vegetarians, the options are limited. Fortunately, black chickpeas, or kala chana as it they are popularly known, act as a major source of protein for vegetarians, but that’s not all. “A great source of fibre, it helps in regulating the blood sugar level. It also helps in reducing weight and helps avoid the formation of acids in the body,” says Dr Taranjeet Kaur, metabolic balance coach and senior nutritionist, AktivOrtho, New Delhi.

She further adds, “Kala chana prevents bloating and also keeps the digestive system strong. In addition, it contains phytochemicals called saponins which are very good in preventing cancer. A good amount of choline is also present, which helps in developing the brain.”

 Health benefits of black chickpea:

Prevents cancer: Saponins, which are phytochemicals present in black chickpeas, prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading throughout the body. Also selenium, a mineral that is not present in fruits and vegetables, is found in this powerhouse food. It plays an important role in detoxifying cancer-causing compounds in the body.

Boon for bones: Other than being a good source of phosphate, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc, black chickpeas are also high in calcium and vitamin K, which helps in maintaining bone health

Keeps heart healthy: Rich in antioxidantsthis food contains an excellent amount of fibre and vitamin C, which helps in lowering the cholesterol level and thereby, keeping your heart healthy.

Development of brain: Choline, found in this popular Indian food, helps in developing your brain. Just 50g of it can really sharpen your mind.

For healthy hair: Black chickpeas have a very good amount of zinc and protein. It can stop hair fall and slow down the process of premature greying.


Other Health Benefits:

    • Chickpea seed oil contains different sterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols . These phytosterols are reported to exhibit anti-ulcerative, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antitumoric and anti-inflammatory properties coupled with a lowering effect on cholesterol levels .
    •  Carotenoids like lutein andzeaxanthin, the major carotenoids in chickpea seeds, are speculated to play a role in senile or age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Though there are some epidemiological and association studies suggesting a beneficial effect of lutein and zeaxanthin on AMD, evidence from RCTs on the effect of carotenoids on AMD is not presently available.

  • Carotenoids are reported to increase natural killer cell activity . Vitamin A, a derivative of β-carotene is important in several developmental processes in humans like bone growth, cell division/differentiation and most importantly vision.
  •   Chickpea is reported to have higher levels of carotenoids (explained above) than “golden rice” and it could be potentially be used as a source of dietary carotenoids. Chickpea seeds have been used in traditional medicine as tonics, stimulants and aphrodisiacs  .
  • Further, they are used to expel parasitic worms from the body (anthelmintic property), as appetizers, for thirst quenching and reducing burning sensation in the stomach . In the Ayurvedic system of medicine chickpea preparations are used to treat a variety of ailments like throat problems, blood disorders, bronchitis, skin diseases and liver or gall bladder related problems [biliousness]  .
  • In addition to these applications, the chickpea seeds are also used for blood enrichment, treating skin ailments, ear infections, and liver and spleen disorders .
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