Enjoy the nutritional benefits of garbanzo beans

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(NaturalNews) The garbanzo bean resembles, to some degree, the head of a ram. This gave rise to its Latin name, Cicer arietinum, which means "small ram." Another common name for garbanzo beans is chickpeas. These beans come in several different colors, including beige, green, black, brown and red. Garbanzo beans have a nut-like taste and a somewhat buttery yet starchy texture. It is a common ingredient in various Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. In India and Pakistan, it has become a major crop due largely to its drought tolerance. Here is a quick rundown on some of the health benefits and nutritional properties of garbanzo beans.


Like other beans, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein. Every 100g of garbanzo beans contain about 8.86g of protein.

One concern regarding the protein in beans and peas, however, is that it is not as complete as the protein found in animal flesh. In other words, certain amino acids, such as tryptophan and methionine, could be present in lower concentrations. To ensure a more complete and well-rounded profile of vegetarian protein intake, some experts recommend eating beans together with whole grains.


A half-cup of chickpeas could contain about 1.0g of soluble fiber and 5.0g of insoluble fiber. Being high in fiber, garbanzo beans can help reduce blood levels of "bad" cholesterol as well as help keep blood sugar levels steady. This makes them a great food choice for diabetics and persons who are insulin-resistant.

Other nutrients

Garbanzo beans contain molybdenum, which is a trace mineral that the body needs to detoxify sulfites -- sulfites are a potentially harmful preservative often found in wine and processed meats like luncheon meat and bacon that could induce headaches, anxiety or quickened heartbeat in sensitive individuals.

Chickpeas also contain:

• manganese -- about 1.03mg per 100g
• iron -- about 2.89mg per 100g
• magnesium -- about 48mg per 100g
• copper -- about 0.352mg per 100g
• zinc -- about 1.53mg per 100g
• folic acid
• calcium
• potassium
• phosphorus
• vitamins B1, B2 and B3

Purchasing, storing and preparing garbanzo beans

When purchasing dried garbanzo beans, ensure that there is no moisture among them. Also look out for damage by insects or the presence of cracks. If the grocer stores the beans in bins, ensure that the bins are covered. Store the chickpeas in a cool, dry place, within an airtight container.

When getting canned garbanzo beans, go for those that do not contain additional salt or potentially harmful food preservatives and additives.

Garbanzo beans can be served as part of hummus, pasta, sauces, soups and salads.


As garbanzo beans contain some purines, persons with kidney stones and gout should exercise caution consuming them. These beans also contain a lot of oxalate, so those with oxalate-containing kidney stones should not eat too much of them. In addition, some persons could be allergic to garbanzo beans.

Sources for this article include:

Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.

Yeager, Selene, et al. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. New York, NY: Rodale, 2007. Print.

Haas, Elson M., MD, and Levin, Buck, PhD, RD. Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York, NY: Celestial Arts, 2006. Print.

Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper's Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.

About the author:
Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth.

Subscribe to his natural health newsletter or follow his health websites on Facebook.

His main health websites Insights on Health and All 4 Natural Health focus on being healthy naturally, while his other health websites cover topics such as cancer, depression, holistic depression help, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. He also owns self improvement and inspirational websites like Inspiration 4 Living,, Life Changing Quotes, and 101 Inspirational Ideas. Through his network of sites at The Journey of Life, he hopes to help improve people's lives.

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