Chickpeas belong to the class of high-fiber foods called legumes or pulse, which also includes beans, lentils and green peas. Chickpea flour – which is also called gram flour, garbanzo bean flour or traditionally besan – is popular in many countries, especially in Asia and the Middle East. For example, it’s considered a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines.
The health benefits of legume consumption have received rising interest from researchers, and their consumption and production extend worldwide.
1. Great Source of Fiber
Chickpeas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with about 12.5 grams for every one cup of cooked chickpeas. This makes chickpea flour an equally good source, especially when you use it in place of refined flours that have been stripped of nutrients and are very low in fiber.
Virtually every study that has looked at high-fiber diets has found some measure of health benefits, sometimes even striking ones. Some studies show that those who eat the most fiber have a lower risk of developing diabetes, colon cancer, and are less likely to be obese and struggle with weight gain.
Chickpeas are rich in total and soluble fiber as well as in resistant starch, all of which contribute to the low glycaemic index of chickpea flour. The fiber in chickpeas also makes them a heavyweight in terms of helping with digestion, preventing constipation and even aiding in weight loss since they fill you up.
2. Improves Heart Health
High-fiber, nutrient-dense legumes like chickpeas are known to help balance unhealthy cholesterol levels, reduce hypertension and protect against heart disease. Beans can help keep arteries clear from dangerous plaque buildup, maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. This is why studies have found an inverse association between insoluble fiber intake and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides.