Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a popular legume. They originally were used primarily in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Chickpeas are the base to the delicious Mediterranean dip hummus! These small round legumes have a mild flavor and offer a creamy texture when blended or mashed.
Did you know that chickpeas offer some really great health benefits as well?
- Fiber – 1 cup of chickpeas contain 12.5 grams of fiber. This fiber specifically helps feed the good bacteria in the gut as well as adding bulk to help eliminate excess hormones from your system. We suggest aiming for about 40 grams of fiber per day.
- Slow Release Carbohydrate – Due to the high level of fiber and being relatively low on the glycemic index, chickpeas are an amazing carbohydrate source for women with PCOS. Chickpeas have been proven to have a positive effect on blood glucose levels supporting stable blood sugar levels after being consumed.
- Iron – Chickpeas are an awesome vegan source of iron! Some women who struggle with PCOS symptoms often are deficient in iron. 1 cup of chickpeas supplies 26% of the recommended daily intake of iron. Pair chickpeas with crunchy kale for a mega iron boost.
- Folate – Chickpeas are one of the richest sources of folate, or vitamin B9. Folate is found naturally in foods and is considered essential because your body is unable to produce folate on its own. Folate is helpful for women with PCOS because many of us have the MTHFR gene mutation. Low folate levels can cause a weakened immune system, low energy levels, digestive issues as well as fetal developmental problems when pregnant. We encourage you to get folate naturally through food – folic acid found in some supplements (not in the 5-Element System) is a synthetic form of folate that can often be difficult for the body to convert to the active form of folate, causing more problems then it solves.
- Weight Management – Chickpeas are a nutrient dense food – they offer calcium, vitamin K, zinc, magnesium and choline. Along with all of these beneficial nutrients, the fiber found in chickpeas offer a perfect combination for some amazing health benefits – including weight loss. The fiber in chickpeas plays an important role in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, improved nutrient absorption, and a feeling of fullness…all important factors for weight release.
Try adding half a cup of these health-boosting legumes into your daily diet. Blend them up in a creamy dip, try adding them to curry, or toasting them in the oven for a crispy salad topping. Chickpeas are an amazing addition to so many meals!
Cooking tip to remove toxic lectins: be sure to purchase canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in a BPA free can, or purchase raw chickpeas and soak in purified water for 24-48 hours. Rinse well and cook for 1-2 hours on simmer to remove toxic lectins that can bind to nutrients in your gut. This will make them much healthier!