Garbanzo Beans Health Benefits: Lose Weight, Low Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes Management

Jul 22, 2015 09:00 AM EDT | By Martha Ignacio

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Garbanzo beans - commonly known as chickpeas - have high nutritional value that can give the body multiple health benefits, including better disease prevention or maintenance.

Whether it's weight loss, cardiovascular health, or controlling blood sugar levels for diabetes, chickpeas are definitely a good legume to add to one's diet.

One cup of boiled garbanzo beans actually contains 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake of fiber.

This beloved hummus ingredient's fiber content helps lower LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, insulin and triglycerides within just a month. Not only does its antioxidant and fatty acid properties provide good nutrition, but it also helps lower the risk of heart diseases.

In fact, a study published in June 2008 in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association," researchers found that garbanzo beans were able to reduce cholesterol levels on an average of 15mg/dl.

Chickpeas are also great for people with diabetes simply because of its ability to maintain blood sugar levels. With its carbohydrate, high fiber and protein content, garbanzo beans are able to control both insulin output and blood sugar levels.

In fact, these legumes are a 28 on the glycemic index - signifying that garbanzo beans have little negative effect on blood sugar levels - perfect for individuals suffering from diabetes.

Chickpeas also aid in weight loss. Food satiety, the term used to describe individuals' food satisfaction, is increased when consuming garbanzo beans partially because of its fiber-rich content.

These legumes leave individuals feeling fuller without the added calories, thus reducing one's appetite and reduced food intake.

Also because of the garbanzo beans' ability to lower insulin (a fat-storing hormone than is essential in central obesity) levels, individuals can see a decrease in belly fat when consuming chickpeas.

A study published in the March 2009 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food" revealed that participants of the study were able to lose an average of eight pounds in eight weeks when they consumed legumes on a daily basis.

This outcome indicates that including legumes in a daily diet can actually perform better than a low-calorie diet.

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