Treat Your Heart to the Awesome Perks of Chickpeas
It’s mind boggling how one humble legume can do so much for your heart. But that’s what chickpeas do — they fend off heart disease and serious conditions that trigger heart disease like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
People who eat chickpeas have lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, research shows. In fact, adults who ate chickpeas and hummus were 53 percent less likely to be obese and 43 percent less likely to be overweight. They also had a 48 percent lower risk of gaining weight and were 51 percent less likely to have high blood sugar levels, say experts.
A small Iranian study shows overweight people with type 2 diabetes lowered cardiovascular risk factors including fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin, triglycerides, and “bad” LDL cholesterol by substituting two servings of red meat with legumes including chickpeas three days a week. A half-cup of legumes was considered one serving of meat.
Experts credit the natural substances in chickpeas like soluble fiber, vegetable protein, and antioxidants called isoflavones.
Serving tip — Can’t get enough hummus? Try making your own. Then fill celery sticks and small, hollowed-out bell peppers with hummus, and serve at your next party. Check out the recipe to the right and more serving tips.
- FC&A Staff Writer