Health Benefits of Chick Peas
About Chick Peas
Latin Name : Cicer arietinum.
In India, chick peas are called "Chana".
Some other names for it are : Garbanzo bean, Bengal gram, Ceci bean, Sanaglu, Hummus.
Chick peas are native to the Middle East and their cultivation started about 3000 years ago.
Chick peas are legumes and the plants are short in height, grow in tropical to subtropical regions. If grown in temperate climates their production is low.
Chick peas are available in 2 varieties :
- Desi - The dark colored, small sized variety, also called Bengal gram or Kala chana, mostly cultivated in the Indian subcontinent, Mexico, Ethopia and Iran.
- Kabuli - The light colored, bigger seed variety, also called Safed chana, mostly grown in Southern Europe, Chile, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent.
The dark colored, desi chick peas, have a much higher fiber content and consequently a much lower Glycemic index.
The desi chick peas are used to make Chana dal, also called split chick peas with the skin removed. Chana dal when ground forms gram flour, called Besan in India.
Chick peas can be eaten in a variety of ways, cooked, in salads, as sprouts etc.
Nutrition Facts Chick Peas
Chick peas are very rich in phytonutrients like quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin that are concentrated in the seed coat while ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and vanillic acid are concentrated in the cotyledons.
These phytonutrients are excellent antioxidants as well as many of them are anti inflammatory. Chick peas contain excellent amounts of molybdenum and manganese.
They are also rich in folates and are food sources of dietary fiber, protein, copper, iron and phosphorus.
Chick peas are sodium and cholesterol free and are a good source of carbohydrates.
Nutrition Facts Chick Peas
Amount : 1 cup cooked, 164 gms
vitamin A IU
thiamin - B1
riboflavin - B2
niacin - B3
vitamin D IU
vitamin E alpha equiv
Varieties of Chick Peas/PodsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Health Benefits Of Chick Peas
- Reduces Risk of Cancer
About 2/3 of the fiber in chick peas is soluble fiber. This allows most of the fiber to reach the colon where the bacteria break it down into short chain fatty acids which the colon cells absorb and use for energy. The colon cells thus remain healthy and at peak performance levels and reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer.
- Reduces Cholesterol
The soluble fiber binds the bile acids not allowing them to be absorbed thus reducing cholesterol levels
- Stabilizes Sugar Levels
The soluble fiber also controls the absorption and release of blood sugar. The lower glycemic index also causes the blood sugar levels to rise moderately and slowly again ensuring lower blood sugar levels.
Studies indicate that consuming just 1/2 cup chick peas a day helped in controlling blood sugar in just 1 week.
- Controls Weight Gain
Consumption of chick peas tends to keep the stomach full for a much longer period and also reduces appetite due to their excellent fiber levels making it easier to manage weight.
- Reduces risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
It has been observed in studies that 3/4 cup of chick peas consumed daily helped to decrease LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol triglycerides with better control of intake of fat. It was found that the dietary fiber in chick peas is superior to the one found in other foods.
The wide array and unique combination of antioxidants, the anthocyanins, delphinidin, cyanidin and petunidin and the phytonutrients as well as the ALA in Garbanzo beans maintain the health and integrity of the blood vessels and prevent oxidative stress reduce the risk of heart disease.
Folates also lower the homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk to narrowing of arteries due to plaque formation, blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
- Maintains Blood Hemoglobin And Energy Levels
High iron levels in chick peas prevent anemia and keep the energy levels up. Thus consumption of chick peas is very useful for pregnant, lactating women, during menses and for growing children.
- Resolves Digestive Issues
The unique composition of dietary fiber; about 2/3 of it is insoluble fiber, as well as its quantity; a cup of chick peas contains 50% of the daily requirement, makes it a unique food that supports the health of the digestive tract.
Though both the desi (dark colored) variety and the kabuli (lighter colored) variety of chick peas contain these unique combination of phytonutrients, it has been found that among the two, the desi variety has a greater concentration.
Health Benefits Of Chick Peas - Some Natural Remedies
Chick peas in this section refers to the Desi variety
- For Strength
Soak 250 gms of chick peas in 1 liter of water overnight. In the morning boil the water till 1/4 of the water remains. Drink this water daily for improved strength.
One can also consume 50 gms of fresh green chick peas for the same effect.
- To Reduce Appetite
Boil 1 cup of chick peas in 750 ml of water. Strain and drink this water.
- To Control Dysentery Due To Heat
Soak 2 handfuls of chick peas seed coats in 500 ml of water overnight. Strain and drink this water in the morning. It stops blood in stools.
- For Improving Health
Eat sprouts made of chick peas. They make lungs strong, improve weight, increase hemoglobin levels, cleanse the blood and keep the digestive system function optimum.
- Cheaper Source Of Protein And Calories
Chick peas have been found to be a much cheaper source of proteins and calories than almonds on a cost to cost basis.
Soak a handful of chick peas in water at night. In the morning strain out the chick peas, sprinkle some ginger powder and caraway seeds (Jeera) on them and eat.
After some time drink the separated water too.
Add 4 tbsp chick pea flour to 250 ml water. Mix and apply on the hair and massage it for some minutes before washing. This removes dandruff.
- Diseases Of The Windpipe
At bedtime eat a handful of roasted chick peas and drink a glass of hot milk after this.. It removes the accumulated phlegm.
Soak a handful of split chick peas in 500 ml water. After some hours strain out the chick peas, add equal quantity of Gur or Jaggery to them and eat. Do this for 3 days.
When thirsty drink the water in which chick peas were soaked.
Massage any area of pain with chick pea flour. It gives relief.
- Ringworm Infection
Eat roti (Indian Flatbread) made of chick pea flour everyday for a month or two without salt. This cures blood diorders.
Soak a handful of chick peas in 250 ml water at night. Strain out the water in the morning. Drink this water.
Take a handful of chick peas and 10 grams Triphala churan. soak them in 125 ml of water. After 24 hours or so when the chick peas sprout, eat them. Do this daily for a few months to get rid of the white spots.
- To Increase Mother's Milk
Soak 60 grams chick peas in milk at night. Strain out the chick peas next morning. Eat the chick peas. Then heat this milk and drink it.
Grind roasted chick peas. Add some brown sugar and desi ghee. Mix well and eat. Continue for sometime.
- Polyuria (frequent urination)
Eat a handful of roasted chick peas along with some gur or jaggery. Continue for 10 days or more for relief.
- To Prevent Miscarriage
Boil chick peas in water for sometime and then drink this water.
- In Diabetes
- Soak 30 grams chick peas in milk at night. Eat them in the morning.
Eat roti (Indian flatbread) made of equal quantity of chick pea flour and barley flour twice a day.
- Eat roti made of chick pea flour for 10 days. It stops sugar in urine.
- Stones In Kidney And Bladder
Soak a handful of split chick peas in water overnight. In the morning separate the chick peas, add some honey and eat.
- Heart Disease
Eating chick peas daily is beneficial in heart disease.
Some Beauty Remedies With Chick Peas
- To Reduce Oiliness From Skin
Mix some rose water in chick pea flour to make a paste. Apply on the face and skin. Wash off after 10 minutes.
- Dark Skin
Make a paste of 12 tsp chick pea flour and 3 tsp milk or yogurt with some water. Apply on face, body or other dark areas. Massage for a while and wash off after 10 minutes. Do not use soap to wash.
Continue this routine for some time.
- Facial Spots/Marks
Mix chick pea flour in milk or yogurt to make a thick paste. Apply on the face and leave it for 30 minutes. Do this twice a day.
Chick pea flour is called Besan and is available in any Indian grocery store.
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
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© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly