Chickpeas Nutrition Facts

Calories in Chickpeas and Their Health Benefits

spilled chickpeas
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Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is full of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. There are two varieties of chickpeas: the "blond" variety which is sold mostly in the Middle East and North America and the black chickpeas (also called Desi) found in India, Pakistan, and Ethiopia.

Chickpeas are available all year long and can be purchased dried or canned, or you can purchase chickpea flour (besan), which is often used in Indian curries as thickener—this type of flour has half the carbohydrates of wheat flour.

Combining pureed chickpeas with tahini yields hummus. Today, there are so many varieties of hummus ranging in color, flavor, and calories. Using more tahini produces hummus that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in calories. Use hummus to dip vegetables for a protein and fiber-full snack, or swap high fat condiments (like mayonnaise) for hummus when making tuna or chicken salad.

Chick Peas Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup canned (121 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 100 
Calories from Fat 13 
Total Fat 1.5g2%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Sodium 280mg12%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 1.9g 
Protein 5g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 6%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Canned chickpeas can be a cost efficient and convenient way to add fiber and protein to your diet, but they are higher in sodium then dried varieties. One-half cup of chickpeas contains 280mg of sodium. To reduce up to 40 percent of the excess sodium, or roughly 110mg, drain and rinse the chickpeas.

Chickpeas are also a good source of plant based protein. Protein is important in maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also the building block of hair, skin and nails, and is used to help build muscle tissue. Protein also contains no carbohydrates and has little to no impact on blood sugar when metabolized.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, containing 16 percent of your daily needs in one half-cup serving. About one-third of the fiber in chickpeas is soluble fiber, making it a heart-healthy food. Studies have shown that people who eat fiber rich diets are at healthier weights and have a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

Chickpeas are also a good source of manganese and folate. They are also a very good source of magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, and thiamin.

Chickpeas, like other legumes, contain resistant starch that slows down the digestion of carbohydrates. Some resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine at all. At least one study has shown that replacing more rapidly-digested carbohydrates with legumes enhances glycemic control by improving insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. Consuming foods high in resistant starch may also improve colon health, including promoting healthy bowel flora.

Common Questions About Chickpeas

What are the calories in chana? 

Chana dal is the split kernel of a variety of chickpea known as desi or bengal gram. It has a sweet and earthy flavor and, when cooked, is about the size and shape of a corn kernel. It is one of the many legumes used to make dal, which forms the foundation of Indian cuisine.

One-fourth cup of dried chana contains about: 190 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 560 mg potassium, 31 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar and 11 grams protein.

When cooked, one-half cup contains about: 126 calories, 1.3 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 372 mg potassium, 20.6 grams carbohydrate, 11.2 g fiber, 0.66 grams sugar, 7.2 grams protein.

Picking and Storing Chickpeas

When possible, purchase dried chickpeas because dried chickpeas contain less sodium than canned. Store dried chickpeas in a cool, dark place. Once opened, place them in a tightly closed container.

Canned chickpeas can be stored in a pantry or cabinet and are good until the best buy date.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Chickpeas

If you are using dried chickpeas make sure to soak them first before using. To soak them first you should:

  • Pick through the package and remove any grit, pebble or debris
  • Place beans in a bowl and cover with cold water, removing any skins or other items that float to the surface
  • Drain beans in a colander, then rinse under cold running water
  • Return beans to a bowl and cover with fresh cold water, about three cups to each one cup of beans
  • Beans should usually be soaked overnight
  • Before use, drain the beans through a colander, discarding the water

You can reduce soak time by using a quick soaking method. To quick soak your beans: 

  • Rinse and pick through the beans
  • Place beans in a saucepan and enough cool water, covering them about two inches
  • Bring water to a boil and simmer for about two minutes
  • Remove from heat, cover and soak for about 1 hour
  • Drain the beans and discard the water before use

Note that about one-fourth cup of dried beans yields three-fourth cups cooked.

If you are using canned beans, simply drain and rinse before use.

Chickpeas can be used to add to salads, soups, stews, chilis, casseroles, or an addition to grain dishes. Puree chickpeas to make hummus for dipping vegetables or whole grain crackers.

Recipes With Chickpeas 

Sources:

Aguilera Y, Esteban RM, Benítez V et al. Starch, functional properties, and microstructural characteristics in chickpea and lentil as affected by thermal processing. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. 57:22 (2009) 10682-8.

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 632-633.

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