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Food & Nutrition

Health Benefits of Chickpea For Moms to-Be & Kids

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  • October 1, 2021
  • MKB Team

Legumes are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and everyone should consider including them in their diets. Apart from the protein, legumes are also rich in healthy carbs and micro-nutrients. Chickpeas are a part of this healthy legume family.

There are two main variants of chickpeas: Desi and Kabuli. Desi chickpeas are smaller  in size and have dark coloured rough skin. They were cultivated in the eastern world. On the other hand, Kabulis are larger seeds with thin cream coloured skin. They have a nutty flavour along with a creamy texture. The Kabulis were introduced to India through Afghanistan  roughly two centuries ago.

Below is the nutritional profile of chickpeas.

Nutritional Profile

100 gm boiled chickpeas have:

  •  60.2 gm water
  • 164 calories
  • 8.86 gm protein
  • 2.59 gm fat
  • 27.4 gm carbohydrates
  • 7.6 gm fiber
  • 291 mg potassium
  • 168 mg phosphorus
  •  49 mg calcium’
  • 48 mg magnesium
  • 1.3 mg Vitamin C
  • 172 µg folate

Chickpeas also contain smaller amounts of iron, sodium, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium. 

The Many Health Benefits of Chickpeas for Kids and Adults:

Controls blood pressure : Poor food choices and stress can be the reason behind higher blood pressure. A high sodium diet can increase blood pressure levels whereas a high potassium diet can lower the same. Chickpeas are high in potassium and low in sodium. This can be beneficial for patients with hypertension.

Regulates high blood sugar : Chickpeas contain a higher amount of protein and fibre. They are low in glycemic index and can promote a healthy blood sugar level. Fibre slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood keeping the blood sugar levels steady. Adding chickpeas to your meals is a good way of lowering down the glycemic load of the entire meal.

Helps with cholesterol level : Chickpeas do not have higher amounts of fats or bad cholesterol in them. In fact, they can support heart health with their low cholesterol content.  Chickpeas are not any food with higher amounts of fat in them. They are even low in bad cholesterol or LDL. High cholesterol levels can mess up the health of your heart. Therefore, consuming chickpeas can help you in  managing the cholesterol in your blood and keep your heart health under check.

Benefits digestive health : Fibre is essential for optimal digestive health and 100 gm of boiled chickpeas have almost 8 gm of fibre. Fibre promotes regular bowel movement and also keeps the gut healthy. They help in keeping the digestive tract well functioning and flowing.

Benefits of Consuming Chickpeas during Pregnancy:

Rich in protein, chickpeas can be an easy replacement for meat during your pregnancy. They also have high nutritional value making them ideal for a pregnancy diet.

Improves bone health: Chickpeas are rich in both calcium and potassium. Calcium is the building block of human bones and a deficiency of calcium can affect the bone development of your baby during your pregnancy. On the other hand, potassium increases the absorption of calcium in your body. As chickpeas contain them both, they can be used in your pregnancy diet for optimal bone health.

Treats constipation: Soluble fibres can help in treating pregnant women with constipation. Soluble fibres retain water and add bulk to the stool. It also softens the stool and promotes regular bowel movements. Chickpeas have a considerable amount of fibres in them to relieve constipation in women during pregnancy.     

Suppresses appetite High in protein and fibre, chickpeas can be very satiating. Protein and complex carbohydrates like fibre keep you full for a longer period. Therefore, it can suppress your appetite to a significant degree not allowing you to binge on sugary as well as salty junk foods during your pregnancy.

Keeps a check on weight: As chickpeas keep you full and manage hunger pangs, they can aid in weight management. Cravings during pregnancy are normal. However, chickpeas don’t let you overeat and help you manage your weight during the pregnancy period.

Risk of Consuming Chickpeas during Pregnancy:

Chickpeas are generally safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women. There are no harmful side effects of consuming chickpeas on a regular basis. However, you should always keep some things in mind.

  • Raw chickpeas contain some toxins and anti-nutrients. At the same time, they are hard to digest. You should always soak them for at least 6-7 hours before cooking and cook them thoroughly. Soaking and cooking removes all the toxins from chickpeas and makes them easier to digest.
  • If you are not familiar with a high-fibre diet, you should consider eating chickpeas regularly. Excessive fibre can irritate your gut and make you bloated. It can also result in diarrhoea. Consider introducing chickpeas slowly in your diet.

Tasty Ways of Including Chickpea in Your Diet:

Chickpeas can be eaten fresh or you can also try the canned chickpeas. Fresh chickpeas require soaking and cooking whereas canned chickpeas are precooked. You can make tasty dishes using any of them.  

  • You can make hummus with chickpeas as they are its main ingredients. Just add chickpeas with some garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. You can also use your favourite herbs to flavour your hummus.
  • Chickpeas can be used in soups to give them a creamy texture.
  • Add some boiled chickpeas to your salad to give it some extra crunchy and nutty flavour.
  • You can also make the famous Indian curry with Kabuli chana.  
  • Roasting chickpeas with your favourite seasonings can be an ideal snack option. 

Chickpeas are very filling and can be used in making a hearty meal. With extremely high nutritional value, adding Chickpeas to your diet can help you stay healthy and enjoy scrumptious meals. 


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MKB Team

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