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The Health Benefits of Chickpeas
There is evidence that the chickpea originated in Persia and that they were a staple of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced chickpeas to the subtropical regions during the 16th century.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and falafal is also made from chickpeas and/or fava beans. Chickpeas can be cooked in stews or curries, used cold in salads, and also ground and used as flour.
|Chickpeas, mature seeds,
cooked no salt
|Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||686 kJ (164 kcal)|
|* Carbohydrates||27.42 g|
|Dietary fiber||7.6 g|
|* Fat||2.59 g|
|* Protein||8.86 g|
|* Vitamin A equiv.||1 ?g|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.116 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.063 mg|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.526 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.286 mg|
|* Vitamin B6||0.139 mg|
|* Folate (Vit. B9)||172 ?g|
|* Vitamin C||1.3 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.35 mg|
|Vitamin K||4 ?g|
|* Calcium||49 mg|
|* Iron||2.89 mg|
|* Magnesium||48 mg|
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.
47 participants took part in a study to compare the effects of a chickpea-supplemented diet and those of a wheat-supplemented diet on human serum lipids. The inclusion of chickpeas in the diet resulted in lower serum total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Chickpeas can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
Chickpeas contain oxalate and individuals with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should limit their intake of chickpeas.
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Pittaway JK, Ahuja KD, Cehun M, Chronopoulos A, Robertson IK, Nestel PJ, Ball MJ. Dietary supplementation with chickpeas for at least 5 weeks results in small but significant reductions in serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols in adult women and men. Ann Nutr Metab. 2006;50(6):512-8. Epub 2006 Dec 21. PMID: 17191025.
5. Yang Y, Zhou L, Gu Y, Zhang Y, Tang J, Li F, Shang W, Jiang B, Yue X, Chen M. Dietary chickpeas reverse visceral adiposity, dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance in rats induced by a chronic high-fat diet. Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct;98(4):720-6. Epub 2007 Aug 1. PMID: 17666145.
6. Williams SM, Venn BJ, Perry T, Brown R, Wallace A, Mann JI, Green TJ. Another approach to estimating the reliability of glycaemic index. PMID: 18186950.
7. Rochfort S, Panozzo J. Phytochemicals for health, the role of pulses. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 3;55(20):7981-94. Epub 2007 Sep 5. PMID: 17784726.
8. Leterme P. Recommendations by health organizations for pulse consumption. Br J Nutr. 2002 Dec;88 Suppl 3:S239-42. PMID: 12498622.
9. Image of hummus by sea turtle