Commonly known as ‘Kala chana’ (Hindi) in India, chickpeas are a part of the vegetarian diet in India. These are basically legumes belonging to the Fabaceae family. The plants are short in height and are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. The seeds are excellent sources of protein. There are generally two varieties of chickpeas, ‘desi’ and ‘kabuli’. The ‘desi’ variety comprises of darker smaller seeds having a rough outer covering whereas the‘kabuli’ variety are comparatively larger light colored beans with a smoother coat.
Health Benefits of Black Chana
1. Lowers Cholesterol
The soluble fiber in black chickpeas binds the bile acids and prevents them from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol levels. Daily consumption of around ¾ cup of chickpeas helps to decrease LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol triglycerides. Moreover, the dietary fiber of black chick peas is superior to that found in other foods
2. Prevention of Diabetes
As already stated, the carbohydrates in legumes such as black chickpeas are digested slowly, thus reducing the blood sugar levels. This contributes to insulin resistance, thereby reducing the risk of getting type-2 diabetes
3. Good Source of Protein for Vegetarians
Black chickpeas are an alternative source of protein for vegetarians as these legumes in combination with whole grain or whole wheat protein, provide significant amounts of protein which are comparable to that of meat and dairy as well as devoid of high calories or saturated fats.