Chickpeas in the headlines: Why they are back in vogue – and how to feed yourself

Chickpeas are well and truly back in vogue on your plate. However, the humble legume is still not fully recognised by mainstream supermarkets or their suppliers. Some may claim it’s now simply a cost factor, with supermarkets insisting that chickpeas cost more because of the higher level of the protein involved. The truth is it’s simply a chicken and pork diet.

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Research has even claimed that McDonald’s puts “higher amounts of unsaturated fats, saturated fat and sodium” into their chicken and pork products. Chickpeas are low in fat and are a rich source of protein. However, anyone who is bothered about wanting low-fat and saturated fat might be allured by your average chicken breast or pork joint – but chicken is far lower in both fat and protein compared to a legume.

What was once despised is now touted as one of the world’s most nutrient-dense snacks. The story of chickpeas has been praised by scientists for their ability to store nutrients. They even feature in scientific diets and lifestyle plans, and you can buy the ingredient from most kitchen cupboards. Chickpeas contain the most protein of any plant protein source. Their bioactive vitamins and minerals include phosphorous, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc.

The recently FDA-approved chickpea pills feed your insides and pump you full of zinc and magnesium like you’ve never known.

Scientific research suggests that chickpeas are a perfect source of choline, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, folate, and other trace minerals such as zinc, copper, and phosphorus. Chickpeas contain a significant amount of complex carbohydrates such as glucose and ragi, vitamins and antioxidants as well as protein. They contain so much protein that a single serving can provide between 10 to 25 percent of your daily requirements.

A simplified guide to eating chickpeas:

Let them out of the packet. They’re way easier to digest than ground beef. A vegan meal, they’re absolutely worth eating a few if only for the health benefits they bring. Most chickpeas are high in protein. They’re also rich in fiber and nutrients, so they make a great choice for healthy meals. Chiles and other seasonings can help with cooking. Leftover chickpeas are wonderfully healthy and tasty, too.

Oh! So now we have a second calorie problem. Chickpeas are now foods that support healthy diets and lifestyle, but they can easily be overconsumed. Take a break from the 2 meat meals. Give them a break! You will enjoy a substantial meal, without guilt. Chickpeas come in several forms such as dried peas and tinned. Research has also found that chickpeas can be easily fortified with different nutrients such as zinc, potassium, and fibre.

Did you know that you could be buying store-bought chickpeas that have 70 percent of the fat, seven times the protein, and 90 percent of the carbohydrate content of your favourite chickpea treats? They all contain the same amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, and essential fatty acids, you just have to be careful about what they’re made with and how they’re handled. If you’re eating it home-cooked, it’s a zero fat, cholesterol-free, free range meal that improves your gut flora in addition to your immune system and metabolism.

Handy info: Read more from HAVESOLUTIONS on Nutrition & Lifestyle, and visit their full range of educational guides.

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