Historians tell us that chickpeas were one of the first cultivated crops. Most people are familiar with them as a popular ingredient in salads or the hummus beloved in Middle Eastern cuisines. The public at large remains unaware that chickpea also makes excellent flour even though this is far from a new discovery. While western countries have made flour from wheat and other grains, other countries have produced flour from chickpeas for hundreds of years. Improving the quality of our diet lies behind the rise in popularity of chickpea flour outside its traditional Asian origins.
A gluten-free alternative to regular flour
A significant number of individuals experience allergic reactions to products containing gluten. Some suffer from celiac (gluten intolerance), where eating gluten brings serious health risks. Foods made of wheat and other grains contain gluten, and this severely restricts the diets of those with such health issues. This need to avoid problematic foodstuffs makes it a challenge for them to get sufficient proteins and nutrients while enjoying varied meal plans. Chickpea flour is free of gluten so it enables these people to enjoy safely a range of nourishing foods they could otherwise not eat.
Lowers the risk of getting diabetes
Medical studies point out how cases of diabetes in the western world are on the rise. Research shows that heavy consumption of junk foods and lack of exercise are two of the key elements that help explain this rise. Diabetes is less common in countries where chickpea flour has been popular for generations. Some scientists believe that the very high fiber content in chickpea flour is a factor lowering diabetes risks. They calculate that each cup of cooked chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of fiber.
Could help to keep your weight down
Obesity has become another prominent health concern in the USA and Western Europe. The rising numbers of obese children is a special concern. Reducing weight demands a commitment to following a strict diet, but dieters still need to make sure they receive vital nutrients. Studies show that fiber-rich chickpea flour provides a good source of nutrients, but it also works to counteract the individual’s tendency to gain weight. A small amount is sufficient to satisfy your appetite. What more could a dieter ask for?
Improve the health of the heart
Heart attacks are another major health concern across the western world. In common with so many other health issues, doctors find clear links with bad diets and lack of exercise. Researchers have found that the high levels of nutrients and fiber in chickpea flour reduces cholesterol levels. In particular, it seems to help bring down high triglyceride rates. A change from wheat to chickpea flour thus reduces the risks of artery blockage and associated heart disease.
Can help strengthen the immune system
Compounds found in chickpea flour have an anti-inflammatory effect. For example, they help to detoxify the digestive tract and thus reduce the risk of infection. Its’ antioxidant qualities can also significantly reduce the damage that free radical compounds cause to body cells. In all of these respects, chickpea flour becomes an ally of the immune system as it helps it to more effectively resist illness taking hold. It is always much better to forestall illness at this stage rather than treating it afterward with medications.
Particularly rich in valuable minerals and vitamins
Maintaining the optimum levels of minerals and vitamins in the body is another key requirement to stay healthy. A look at the properties of chickpea flour reveals its richness, for example, the high qualities of protein, potassium, magnesium, and zinc that it contains. It is also very strong in the B vitamins that contribute so much to our energy levels. The iron obtained from chickpeas is another important benefit since it lowers the risk of becoming anemic.
Good food choice for anyone who suffers from constipation
Constipation is certainly one of the most uncomfortable health conditions. Although in most cases it is relatively easy to treat, it is obviously far better to change meal plans to reduce these risks. Experts recommend that those who regularly suffer from constipation should try to use chickpea flour in their cooling. The high amounts of soluble fiber found in this legume work to prevent constipation.
A potential role in the fight against cancer
Lower cancer levels in areas where chickpea flour is traditionally part of the diet, encourage researchers to explore a possible link. Preliminary findings suggest that consumers of chickpea flour products are less at risk of developing certain cancer types. The degree of protection seems to be the most effective against stomach, kidney and colon cancers. It is also possible that lifestyle, genetic or some other factors also work to lower these risks in the populations studied, but even the possibility of such a health benefit makes it worth considering changing to chickpea flour.
Can chickpea flour contribute to longevity?
Researchers note that people in the Mediterranean use five times the amount of chickpea flour that those in Northern Europe and the USA. They theorize that there could be a link between these eating habit differences and the better health of people on Mediterranean diets, whose, even at advanced ages, enjoy a reasonable state of health.
Helps to reduce digestive problems
Digestive problems can be a symptom of bad diet choices and the result of a sedentary lifestyle. The ideal approach would be to radically improve diet and get more exercise, but even in the absence of these important steps, chickpea flour seems to help. Compounds found in chickpea flour help to counteract the acidity in the stomach that poor eating habits regularly cause. Aiding the operation of the digestive system is another of the health benefits that come from those large amounts of fiber chickpea flour brings into the body.