Over the past 15 or so years, one of the garbanzo bean’s (or chickpea’s) processed forms—hummus—has exploded in popularity in the western market, despite being a staple of near eastern and Levantine cuisine for millenia. This is in part due to the embrace by the western palate of exotic cuisines outside the realm of typical “American” cooking. The other reason is due to the clear health benefits of chickpeas and hummus.

While chickpeas have been a staple of the American salad bar since long before hummus became a staple of many American homes, they haven’t been nearly as commonly consumed as they are today. In 2016, Americans consumed 222,000 metric tons of chickpeas. Boy howdy that’s a lotta garbanzo!

Here we’ll look at some of the health benefits of chickpeas. We hope you’ll learn as much as we did about this crucial commodity!

Nutrient profile: Chickpeas contain about 46 calories per 1 ounce serving, of which about 32 calories of which are from carbs, 12 from protein and the remainder from fat. It is also a good source of iron, manganese and B-vitamins as well as fiber (2 grams per 1 ounce serving). Of course, 1 ounce isn’t exactly a heaping helping, so we recommend a little more to get your fill (4-6 ounces should do the trick).

Appetite Control: Like many legumes, chickpeas contain a powerful combination of protein and fiber that can help suppress a runaway appetite. These two nutrients act in concert with one another to fill a person up. The fact that chickpeas are so filling combined with the fact that they are only moderately caloric makes for a healthy and wholesome snack. Brands like Biena provide high quality chickpea snacks that will certainly satisfy a healthy appetite.

May Help With Weight Loss: Because chickpeas have such a moderate calorie count and because they are so filling, including chickpeas in your diet can help you lose weight. Don’t confuse this claim as saying the chickpeas will directly cause calorie burn, although with a low glycemic index they take more calories to process than some other foods. Still, even though chickpeas are not diet pills, it stands to reason that replacing unhealthy foods with chickpeas can help with weight loss.

Helps Manage Blood Sugar: Chickpeas’ low glycemic index can also help manage blood sugar. There are actually many studies available that demonstrate this. One showed that 19 people who had eaten 200 grams of chickpeas saw their blood sugar levels reduced by 21% as compared with a meal consisting of white bread or even whole-grain cereal. Another showed that 45 people who ate 728 grams of chickpeas per week saw significant reductions in fasting insulin levels, an important indicator of blood sugar control.

Chickpeas are affordable and easy to include in one’s diet, especially with food brands like Biena who make chickpea snacks for people on the go. We hope you’ll eat more chickpeas. After doing the research for this article, I know I will!


Chad Weisman—CEO, Golden Strands Communication; ‘creative type’; surfer on the amber waves of grain; avid concert attendee.