Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are popular in all types of cuisine, particularly Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, making them one of the most popular legumes in the world. Not only are they delicious — snack on some crunchy spicy roasted garbanzo beans, warm up with a vegan chickpea tikka masala, or enjoy a quick lunch of chickpea, avocado, and feta salad to prove it — but they’re also a great, balanced food packed with plenty of nutrients. Super affordable, they’re a pantry staple that is perfect to have on hand for blending into dips or tossing on salads.
Vegans and vegetarians unite! Whether you’re a plant-based eater already, or just looking to up your intake of meat alternatives, garbanzo beans are a great go-to. Get creative with falafel or chickpea patties, use chickpea flour in baked goods, or even make vegan omelettes.
While garbanzo beans are typically thought of as a bean, they’re technically a legume. This means that they’re still an excellent source of fiber*, but are also easier to digest than beans. They also contain prebiotic fibers, which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut to further benefit your digestive health. If you do have trouble digesting beans, try rinsing them and soaking them beforehand, and be sure to increase your bean and legume intake gradually.
Another benefit to eating garbanzo beans as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is that products that are an excellent source of fiber may help improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease according to the American Heart Association.
In addition to being nutrient-dense (a fancy way of saying they boast plenty of nutrients for fewer calories), garbanzo beans digest more slowly, leaving you feeling more satisfied and less likely to overeat.