Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is a good source of essential nutrients. Chickpeas also contain phytoestrogens, which are plant estrogen that may help lower the risk of breast cancer, reduce symptoms of menopause and prevent against osteoporosis. Although canned chickpeas are healthy, fresh dried garbanzo beans that you boil yourself are slightly higher in vitamins and minerals.
Calories and Fat
The exact calories, fat and carbohydrates of chickpeas will vary depending on how you prepare them. A 1-cup serving of boiled chickpeas has approximately 269 calories. The same serving size is relatively low in fat and has a little over 4 grams of total fat. The majority of the fat in garbanzo beans is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which are healthier types of fat. Garbanzo beans do not have any cholesterol and are very low in saturated fats.
Protein, Carbohydrates and Fiber
Garbanzo beans have a whopping 12.5 grams of fiber in a 1-cup serving. Fiber offers many health benefits, including relieving constipation, normalizing bowel movements, lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult women consume 25 grams of fiber. Chickpeas have over 14 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving, making them an excellent alternative to meat. The same serving size also contains nearly 45 grams of carbohydrates.
Chickpeas contain many different minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and potassium. Chickpeas have 4.74 milligrams of iron in a 1-cup serving. Iron deficiency, the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, causes fatigue, difficulty concentrating and a weakened immune system. Women of childbearing years, pregnant women, teenage girls, infants and toddlers have the greatest risk of developing an iron deficiency. Women of childbearing years should consume 18 milligrams of iron per day.
Chickpeas contain several types of vitamins, including vitamins C, A, E, K and many of the B vitamins. They are an especially good source of the B vitamin folate, with 282 micrograms in a 1-cup serving. Folate helps to grow new cells and make DNA and RNA. Eating a diet rich in folate helps to prevent anemia during pregnancy. Adult males and females should consume 400 micrograms of folate a day. Pregnant and lactating women require 600 and 500 micrograms, respectively, per day.
- Daily Mail: Do Chickpeas Have any Health Benefits?
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 16057, Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans, Bengal Gram), Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Without Salt
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Polyunsaturated Fats and Monounsaturated Fats
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber-Essential for a Healthy Diet
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Folate
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