Known as Kala Channa in Hindi, in India, Black chickpeas are a major part of the vegetarian diet in India. These are legumes which belong to the Fabaceae family. These short plants are found in the subtropical and tropical regions. Chickpeas are usually of two kinds: Kabuli and desi. The darker and smaller seeds which have a rather rough exterior are the ‘desi’ chickpeas, whereas the chickpeas which are larger in size and are light colored with a smoother exterior are the ‘kabuli’ chickpeas.
Bengal grams, which is another name for Black Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans/kala Chana, belong to the desi category and have a higher fiber content and lower glycemic index. Black chickpeas are highly flexible legumes and are mostly used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, falafels, salads, soups, stews, curries, and even snacks. Now, let’s discuss some health benefits of these:
Health benefits of Black Chickpeas
1. Helps in Losing Weight
Having a fiber-rich diet helps in reducing weight, and black chickpeas are highly rich in soluble and insoluble fiber! Soluble fiber makes the excretion of ferries and bile easier by forming a gel-like substance in the digestive tract whereas the insoluble fiber averts constipation and other digestive problems. Fiber also fills up the stomach, satiating our hunger and control our hunger cravings. To reduce your diet you should drink boiled water with chickpeas. Rather than only cutting calories, if you include black chickpeas in your diet, it would be an advantage when it comes to weight loss!
2. Cardiovascular Benefits
Black chickpeas are a mix of anthocyanins, antioxidants, delphinidins, cyanidins, petuinidns, phytonutrients and ALA that maintain the health of the blood vessels and avert oxidative stress, and hence lower the risk of heart diseases. Folate, that is present in block chickpeas reduces the homocysteine levels and hence minimize the risk of blockage and thinning of arteries caused by plaque formation, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
The soluble fiber that is present in black chickpeas/kala chana binds the bile acids and averts them from being absorbed by the body, and hence lowering the cholesterol levels. Daily consumption of black chickpeas helps to reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol triglycerides.
4. Maintains Blood Sugar Levels and Low Glycemic Index(GI)
The soluble fiber that is present in chickpeas maintains the absorption and release of blood sugar. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index of 28 to 32 which means that the process of breaking down and digestion of carbs is very slow. Due to this slow process, our appetite is controlled and this, in turn, helps in losing weight. Low GI causes the blood sugar to rise somewhat and then that leads to a decrease in blood sugar levels. To control your blood sugar levels, consume chickpeas regularly, and viola!
5. Averts Diabetes
The presence of carbs in chickpeas are digested at a slower rate which in turn leads to the reduction of sugar levels. This results in insulin resistance, and hence reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes.
6. Amazing Source of Iron
Black Chickpeas can avert anemia and boost energy levels as they are a rich source of iron. They are especially good for lactating or pregnant women, and also for growing children. Iron plays a major role in the formation of hemoglobin by transporting oxygen from the lungs to all of the cells present in the body and is a major part of the enzyme systems for the production of energy and metabolism.
7. An Excellent Source of Proteins for Vegetarians
Black Chickpeas are another source of protein for vegetarians as they provide a good amount of protein when consumed with whole wheat protein or whole grain and are almost equivalent to that of meat and dairy, as well as saturated fats.
8. Beneficial for Women
The phytonutrients that are present in black chickpeas, called saponins act as antioxidants and lower the risk of breast cancer, avert the dangers of osteoporosis and also reduce hot flushes in post-menopausal women. To cure leucorrhea, all you need to do is mix chickpeas with brown sugar and desi ghee. To avert miscarriage, take absolute care of yourself and also consume boiled water with chickpeas.
9. Treating Digestive Disorders
Black chickpeas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which also consists of insoluble fiber which is very important for maintaining the health of the digestive tract. The fiber present in black chickpeas lowers the risk of painful diverticulitis disease and constipation by lowering the tension on your intestines. In the case of dysentery, all you need to do is soak 2 handfuls of black chickpeas in approximately 500 ml of water overnight and then strain the water and consume it the next morning for relief. For the treatment of constipation, soak the black chickpeas in water overnight and then eat them in the next morning. You can sprinkle caraway seeds, also known as jeera and ginger powder on it, as well as drink the separated water.
10. Aversion of Cancer
The soluble fiber that is present in black chickpeas reaches the colon where it is broken down by the bacteria into short chain fatty acids which are then absorbed by the colon cells and then used for energy. This allows the cells in the colons to stay fit and healthy and lowers the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer.
11. Other Benefits:
To treat stones in the kidney or bladder, all you need to do is soak a handful of back chickpeas in the water overnight and then eat the chickpeas with honey the next morning. For jaundice patients, they can eat these chickpeas soaked in water with jaggery, also known as gur, and drink the same water when thirsty for a better condition. This water is also used to treat frequent vomiting.
Skin Benefits of Black Chickpeas:
Apart from health benefits, black chickpeas also have skin benefits. Being rich in folates, proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, iron, copper, phosphorus and devoid of sodium and cholesterol, black chickpeas can be beneficial in the following ways:
12. Treating Leucoderma
Leucoderma is a disease which causes white spots on the skin. To treat leukoderma, all you need to do is soak a handful of black chickpeas along with Triphala churan in approximately 125 ml of water, overnight and then eat them when sprouts start to appear.
13. Curing Ringworm Infections
To cure ringworm infections, eat chapattis/rotis made from black chickpea flour without salt for about one or two months!
14. Facial Skin Care
Remove the skin of the black chickpeas and ground them to make ‘besan’ which is amazing for skincare and is usually used in face packs to give a flawless, glowing and amazing skin.
15. Healing Properties
Applying the black chickpea paste, mixed with sandalwood paste can remove a pimple and acne scars, cure sunburns and other skin inflammations. Just mix equal quantities of both the pastes on the affected area and leave them overnight and wash them off the next morning with lukewarm water see amazing effects!
Hair Benefits of Black Chickpeas:
Black chickpeas are extremely beneficial for our hair in a number of ways. Here’s how:
16. Promotes Hair Growth
Black chickpeas are a source of B6 with zinc. These two proteins are responsible for building up the protein in our hair. Hence they strengthen our hair follicles and promote hair growth.
17. Fights off Hair loss
Vitamin A along with zinc present in black Chickpeas are very important for hair and health. The absence of any of these proteins/minerals from our diet can result in dandruff and hair loss.
18. Treatment of Dandruff
To treat the problem of dandruff, mix four tablespoons of black chickpea flour in approx. 250 ml of water and gently massage your hair with it for a few minutes before washing it.
19. Averts the Greying of Hair
Black chickpeas are filled with proteins and manganese. The manganese present in our hair averts the changing of the color of our hair. This happens due to pigmentation, which causes the greying of our hair.