First of all, I have to confess that I am not a vegetarian myself, but enjoy many vegetarian dishes. I grew up around a vegetarian grandmother and the way she ate always fascinated me. And that is the inspiration behind starting this column. I even tried it myself but only lasted 6 months, I am ashamed to say that my craving for chicken overpowered my willpower. I am a foodie who will try anything and everything if it tastes good. Each week we will introduce you to an ingredient that vegetarians love with its health benefits and an easy recipe heroing it and you can easily try at home.
Listed below are the benefits of chickpeas:
1. Diabetes: Chickpeas are particularly high in fibre. Studies have shown that people with Type 1 Diabetes who consume high-fibre diets have lower blood glucose levels; and for people with Type 2 Diabetes higher fibre intake may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.
2. Bone Health: The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
3. Blood Pressure: Maintaining a low-sodium (low-salt) intake is essential for maintaining a low blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation (dilation of blood cells) effects.
4. Heart Health: The high fibre, potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 content all support heart health and helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
5. Cancer: Although the mineral selenium is not present in most fruits and vegetables, it can be found in chickpeas. It helps the enzymes of the liver to function properly and detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
6. Cholesterol: Research shows that including chickpeas in the diet lowers the amount of low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol in the blood.
7. Inflammation: The choline in chickpeas helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory and reduces chronic inflammation.
8. Digestion And Regularity: Because of their high fibre content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthful digestive tract.
9. Weight Management And Satiety: Dietary fibres function as "bulking agents" in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety (a feeling of fullness) and reduce appetite, making people feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering overall calorie intake.
Who doesn't love some hummus to enjoy with your chips and it something that can be stored in your fridge for a while too. Here is an easy recipe for you to try at home!
All you need is:
500g of chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled till soft
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chillie powder
In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt until smooth and creamy.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the chillie powder before serving.
Try this recipe out and let us know your thoughts!