Chickpeas, Not Your Ordinary Pea

Care for some Chickpea Coffee?

Yup, you read that right. It’s nutrient-rich and err, caffeine-free. It is a thing. There are countless chickpea coffee recipes out there or you can try this one. If – like most people – caffeine is THE reason to drink coffee, then this is not your cup of tea coffee. Drink it or eat it for its content of super nutrients.


Everything chickpeas seem to be trend du jour even if the coffee version hasn’t quite won us over, yet. This buttery, nutty flavoured and creamy textured bean is not a new superfood. In fact, chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L), also known as garbanzo beans have been a key ingredient in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years, about as far back as 6790 BCE.

Why the interest?

With more people opting to go meatless and looking after themselves better, food that is nutrient-dense naturally becomes more sought-after. The nutritional profile of chickpeas is incredibly impressive with high amounts of fiber, protein, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. The high protein content makes it an excellent meat and egg replacement in many plant-based or vegan recipes.

Just a cup of cooked chickpeas contains:

Nutritional Profile
Nutrients %DV
Protein 29%
Fiber 28%
Fat 78%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C  4%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)   3%
Vitamin K  8%
Thiamin  13%
Riboflavin  6%
Niacin  4%
Vitamin B6   11%
Folate  71%
Pantothenic Acid  5%
Calcium   8%
Iron  26%
Magnesium  20%
Phosphorus  28%
Potassium  14%
Zinc  17%
Copper  29%
Manganese  84%
Selenium  9%



Let’s take a look at the health benefits this tiny yet very powerful superfood offers:

Great Source of Plant-Based Protein

Containing almost all the essential amino acids except one, eating chickpeas with a whole grain that contains methionine, will make this a complete protein source. Everyone knows we need protein for the health of vital organs, muscles, and tissues to slow down the aging process. Studies have also shown that people with high protein not only lost body weight but were also able to lose more body fat. Woohoo!

Aid Weight Management

Apart from protein, the other weight-friendly nutrient is fiber. It’s quite obvious why. The dietary fiber in chickpeas acts as a bulking agent, making us feel fuller for a longer time. Studies have shown that just adding them to our diets may help with weight loss.

Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Fiber. Yup. Fiber slows down the absorption of blood sugar, thereby cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes. Apart from having a lower GI of 28, the fiber also helps control our urge to snack away mindlessly on high GI junk.

Help Prevent Cancer

Thanks to the presence of selenium, folate, a phytochemical called saponins chickpea help the liver function properly, enabling it to detoxify certain cancer-causing compounds in the body. Selenium also suppresses inflammation and prevents tumor growths, while folate and saponins prevent the formation and multiplication of cancer cells.

Promote heart health

Chickpeas are high in B vitamins, fiber, selenium, iron, potassium, and magnesium – all of which support heart health.  The folate in chickpeas counteracts homocysteine, an amino acid that helps in the formation of blood clots. The fiber helps decrease blood cholesterol levels too.

Promote Digestion

Fiber it is again. It helps prevent constipation and promotes a regular digestive movement. Fiber also helps balance the pH levels and promotes healthy gut bacteria.

Prevent Hair Loss and Wrinkles

Protein, manganese, vitamin A, B and zinc help fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles; and strengthen hair and promote hair growth.

If the amount of investments in chickpeas in recent years is anything to go by, – and we are talking hundreds of millions here – we will be seeing quite a bit of chickpea products soon. Move aside, soybean.