Also known as Chickpeas, Chanas are very good sources of minerals and vitamins.
Eating chana every day can boost your overall health as these tiny grams have lots of health benefits.
You could mix chana with so many vegetables and make a very nutritious salad. This is usually good to consume at night and contains much dietary fibre and protein that are need for our body’s functions.
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you can definitely try chana as they contain so much protein.
Others get their protein fill from meat and other animal products; however, grams, especially chana, are the best for vegetarians.
Health benefiting properties of Chana:
According to Nutrition Data, Chana contains carbohydrates (starch, sugar and fibres), proteins, healthy fatty acids, Vitamins: A, C, D, E, K Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, Folate, B12, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Betaine; Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium; and Amino Acids as well.
They even stated, “This food is low in Saturated Fat and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.”
Health Benefits & Uses of Chana:
- Controls Appetite
Most people binge-watch television and keep eating popcorns and samosas (Indian Snack).
This is just an example of a poor lifestyle. We must replace unhealthy foods with some healthy options that can keep us full and also reduce our appetite.
Chana contain appetite-reducing nutrients that produce more hormones that tell our brain that we don’t need more food.
Try Chana and Cucumber-Tomato Salad with a pinch of salt and black pepper. This will keep you full and also help you lose weight.
- Rich in Protein
You can get a lot of protein from chana. As discussed above, it is an excellent source of plant-based protein for all vegetarians out there.
Protein from chana is essential in maintaining bone health, muscle mass and reducing fat mass.
You may have it with some other grams to increase the protein and fibre content. It can be very fruitful for your digestive system and metabolism too.
- Helps Lose Weight
To lose weight, many nutritionists will tell you to eat more plant-based protein or have protein shakes. Chana contain a healthy amount of protein that you need to activate your metabolic enzymes.
Studies suggest that the people who eat chana regularly were 53% less likely to be obese. This can clearly prove the point of how these grams control weight circumference and body mass.
- Reduces High Blood Sugar Levels
Chana can have a good amount of fibre that can reduce fasting sugar. They contain protein and fibre that are both required to manage blood sugar levels.
These can be added to your vegetables, salads and even eaten after cooking with tortillas, they taste yummy due to their fibrous and gram texture.
You may season them with various herbs for an added taste. These are best to include in a diabetes-treatment diet.
- Empties Bowels
There are generally two types of fibres: Soluble and Insoluble. Chana contains soluble fibres that quickly get absorbed in your digestive system and promotes healthy digestion of food particles.
These fibres and proteins from chana soothe inflammation and promote regular bowel movements.
IBS and colon cancer can also be treated with the help of Chickpea consumption. However, eat them to a limit if you have IBS, excessive consumption may irritate your stomach.
- Good For Heart
Magnesium and potassium in chana are great for heart health and arterial health as well.
They help in improving blood circulation and reducing the production of triglycerides.
Studies explain, “Chana contain a plant sterol called sitosterol that is structurally similar to cholesterol in the body. It interferes with the body’s absorption of cholesterol and thereby can help to lower blood cholesterol levels.”
- May Slow-Down Cancerous Growth
The antioxidants in chana are so strong and essential that they may help in slowing down cancerous cells or tumours that may otherwise speed up the damage.
These grams contain so many B Vitamins and minerals that are very helpful in controlling breast and lung cancers in adults. These minerals also help lower the risk of having cancer.
- Rich Source of Calcium
Chana have a lot of calcium, magnesium, fibre and other nutrients that can help improve bone density and prevent them from being brittle.
You should soak the chana before consuming or cooking them to avoid consuming phylates that are very bad for our overall health, especially bones. Phylates can prevent the absorption of calcium. So soak the chickpeas for your bone health enhancement.
- Benefits Mental Health
The choline content in chana helps improve your memory, mood, brain functions and nervous system and neurotransmitters’ activities.
It is said that people who consume chana regularly have better mental health and lesser brain fog comparatively.
- Benefits Skin & Hair
The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in chana can be the building blocks of your skin and hair cells and tissues.
Having chickpea salad daily can prevent ageing and keep your skin and hair healthy and shiny. You can even add it to your snacks, but don’t have it for breakfast.
Side-Effects of Consuming Chana:
Chana can healthy sources of many nutrients, however, it depends on how you consume these grams.
Like most legumes and grams, Chana should not be consumed raw without soaking them.
Studies state that we should soak chana for at least 4 hours before boiling or cooking them in any other way. There may be some side-effects if a person is sensitive to grams: (Medical News Today)
- Consuming raw chana may introduce a lot of toxins to your digestive system, so always cook them.
- Chana may contain complex sugars that are difficult to digest so sometimes, they may cause gas, discomfort and bloating of the abdomen.
- The fibres in chana are high in content and may produce symptoms like IBS and diarrhoea.
- Chana are also high in potassium, so if you eat too many at once, they may harm your kidneys.
You can randomly add veggies to chana and they will still taste good. Some people love eating chickpea flour-based recipes too.
Try out chickpea salads and let us know what benefits you experience.