We all are familiar with health supplements and with the rise in multi-billion marketing strategies by manufacturers, most of us would have probably encountered some form of marketing for their specific health product or supplement. One of the most popular forms of supplements is an amino acid and rightfully so. This is because these organic compounds can help the body in several different ways such as ensuring that bodily functions and biological processes are carried and that overall health and wellness are maintained. But what if we told you that amino acids can also be obtained from certain food items? This is where chickpeas come in. In this article, we look at the amino acids in chickpeas and their other health benefits. Read on to find out more.
Amino Acids In Chickpeas: A Brief Backgrounder
Also referred to as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are part of the family of legumes. Chickpeas have recently become more popular but these food items have already been cultivated in the countries around the area of the Middle East for many centuries. The chickpeas’ grainy texture and nutty taste can combine excellently with other ingredients and food items. Chickpeas are a fantastic source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins and can provide several benefits for health such as digestion that is enhanced, improved management of weight, and the reduction of risks related to several diseases.
Garbanzo beans also contain increased amounts of protein and can be a fantastic substitute for meat for those observing the vegan and vegetarian diets. In terms of amino acids, one can say that chickpeas have high levels of plant-based protein which makes these food items an ideal food option for people who are not consuming animal-based products. Numerous studies noted that chickpeas protein can aid in making people feel satiated or full and can help control cravings and hunger and that the protein content of garbanzo beans can be better than that of other types of legumes. This is because the said food item contains all the amino acids that are essential except for methionine.
This means that chickpeas are food items that have an incomplete protein profile. To ensure that the individual can get all the needed amino acids, then individuals need to have chickpeas combined with other sources of protein which (for example whole grains) to ensure that the possible deficit is addressed.
The Other Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Enumerated below are some of the other health benefits of chickpeas:
Contains impressive nutritional profile
The nutrition profile of chickpeas is pretty impressive as it can provide calories in moderate amounts, with the said calories coming from carbs (around 67%) while the remaining 33% is usually made up of proteins and some fats. Also, chickpeas can provide some protein and fiber along with some minerals and vitamins. A 28 gram or one (1) ounce portion of chickpeas can contain nutrients such as manganese (14% of the recommended daily intake), Copper (15% of the recommended daily intake), Phosphorus (5% of the recommended daily intake), Iron (4% of the recommended daily intake), Folate (12% of the recommended daily intake), Protein (3 grams), Fiber (2 grams), carbs (8 grams), and calories (46).
Helps manage hunger and cravings better
The fiber and protein contained in chickpeas can individuals manage their cravings and hunger better. There is evidence to suggest that fiber and protein can work collaboratively to help in digestion that is slower leading to feelings of being full. The fullness chickpeas can give can also lower one;’s total calorie intake during meals and throughout the whole day. A study conducted on female test subjects showed that people who ate chickpeas experienced fewer cravings compared to those who just consumed white bread. However, further research is needed to establish what chickpeas can do for cravings and hunger. The fullness of the effect of chickpeas can be enjoyed by individuals who want to experience the fullness this food item can bring.
Aids in weight management
Garbanzo beans also have certain characteristics that can help people in managing their weight. One is that their calorie density is quite low which translates to more nutrients with just small amounts of calories consumed.
There is also evidence to suggest that people who consumed diets that are low in calories have a higher chance of losing weight compared to those who eat food items that are high in calories. Also, chickpeas have powerful characteristics in terms of weight management due to their fiber and protein content. While these data still need to be further analyzed to finally establish the actual benefit of chickpeas in terms of managing weight. There is no doubt though, that chickpeas are healthy and should be considered in one’s diet.
Supports blood-sugar level management
In addition to weight management and controlling hunger or cravings, chickpeas have been observed to contribute to better-managed blood sugar levels. First, Chickpeas have low GI scores which is an indicator of how fast the sugar in the blood rises after consuming the said food. Diets that focused on eating low GI food items had better blood sugar management compared to those that did not.
Second, chickpeas contain protein and fiber, both of which are commonly viewed as critical in the management of blood sugar levels. This is because fiber can aid in the slower absorption of carbs leading to a more stable blood sugar increase versus a spike. Also, consuming food items that are high in protein may help people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
One study noted that individuals who took in chickpeas (around 200 grams) had a reduction in blood sugar levels by up to 21% versus if the meal is eaten is white bread or whole-grain cereal. There are also numerous results from different studies that show how chickpeas can help lower disease risks.