Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are one of the most beneficial superfoods available, packed full of essential amino acids, vitamins, fibre and minerals, including selenium, folate, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Known as a complete protein, chickpeas contain all 9 essential amino acids our bodies need to function properly, as well as being one of the best sources of vegetable protein available.
In addition to their impressive line-up of nutrients, chickpeas contain choline, necessary for the proper functioning of our nervous system and brain as well as amino acids lysine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine and methionine.
- Lowers Cholesterol: An excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, chickpeas help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol),
- Benefits Weight Loss: 166 grams of chickpeas contains only 270 calories yet gives you 50% of your daily fibre and 30% protein requirements. Chickpeas help you feel full and satisfied for longer and also help balance insulin, thereby helping prevent excess body fat storage,
- Protects Digestive Health: Sufficient fibre is a vital part of your diet to maintain optimal digestive health and chickpeas are one of the most fibre rich of all foods,
- Regulates Blood Sugar: Chickpeas contain beneficial phytochemicals that benefit your blood sugars plus they digest very slowly, giving you a full complement of nutrients without elevating your blood sugars,
- Supports Nervous System: Chickpeas contain essential amino acids, which beneficially affect the neurotransmitters in our brain and help promote normal brain function,
- Muscle Building: The amino acids found in chickpeas provide the building blocks for healthy muscle and muscle function,
- Boosts Immune System: Chickpeas are naturally rich in zinc, a vital component in maintaining optimum immune health. They are also an excellent source of the essential mineral, copper,
- Source of Antioxidants: Selenium is a vital mineral that supports normal liver enzyme function as well as helping combat cancer causing components. Chickpeas are a source of selenium as well as folate, a water soluble B Vitamin, which also helps protect against cancer,
- Boosts Energy: Contains both zinc and iron, a powerful combination to give you the daily energy your body needs to function at it’s best.
Tasty Chickpea Salad Recipe
This quick and easy chickpea salad recipe is loaded with juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, tasty avocado and creamy feta cheese. I love making this delicious recipe with all organic ingredients to avoid chemical and other toxins, making it a super healthy, nutrient rich snack or main meal. Feel free to add other ingredients or even a fish, chicken, egg or meat accompaniment.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 420 grams chickpeas, either canned or pre cooked
- 200 grams cherry tomatoes, halved or whole
- 1 cucumber, sliced and halved
- small red onion, sliced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 120 grams feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- half teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- quarter teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- fresh coriander leaves to garnish, chopped.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and set aside as a dressing
- Combine other ingredients in a salad bowl and toss in the dressing
- Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- Your salad is ready to serve.
This chickpea salad is ideal to make in advance and will keep in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. It also makes a great ‘grab and go’ snack or meal.
Tip: If preparing in advance, add the dressing just before serving to ensure all ingredients remain crisp and crunchy.