Garbanzo beans are rich in fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Recent studies show that including a cup of garbanzo beans twice a week in your meals can help balance blood sugar and lower your levels of LDL-cholesterol (the bad kind), total cholesterol and triglycerides. Garbanzo beans also help us feel satisfied longer, which can be super helpful for weight loss and weight maintenance.
Just one cup of chickpeas contains:
• 13 grams of fiber (half your daily requirement, and most of it is insoluble fiber, the best kind!)
• 15 grams of protein
• No sodium
• 8% of your daily value for calcium
• 26% of your daily value for iron
• Just 270 calories
Even small servings of chickpeas have proven to be health boosters: in one study, after one week in which participants ate only one-third a cup of chickpeas per day, every participant saw improved blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. (Source: http://www.whfoods.com/ citing Effects of a Controlled Diet Supplemented with Chickpeas on Serum Lipids, Glucose Tolerance, Satiety and Bowel Function; Pittaway JK, Ahuja KDK, Robertson IK, et. al.)
Other qualities that give garbanzo beans its SuperFood status is how easy they are to include in your meals. Buy organic no-salt added in a BPA free can, and just drain, rinse, and put them in your salads, soups and stews; mix them with quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains; blend them for dips and spreads, and roast or bake them! See some of my favorite garbanzo bean recipes.