NDTV, which is also known as Channa, Dark Brown Peas, or Bengal Gram, is one of India’s most important pulses. And why not? They are abundant in sodium, iron, and selenium, while also containing small amounts of manganese, zinc, and copper.
But even that’s not all: they represent an excellent source of fiber and folic acid too! They even contain saponins, which are phytochemicals acting as antioxidants.
A recent discovery also claims that the split Bengal Gram or Chickpea happens to be one of the best pulses in the world for those with diabetes.
This is largely thanks to its low GI (glycemic index). It not only causes a much slower rise in one’s sugar levels after consumption, but it also aids in managing the utilization of sugar.
Chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans, are a perfectly healthy way to add many of the essential nutrients to your daily meals, as well as protein. They are fairly good sources of iron, folate, phosphorus, fiber, zinc, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, and riboflavin.
They are also abundant in dietary fiber, which makes them a healthy source of carbs, particularly for those with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. Another great thing about chickpeas is that they are even low in fat, most of which is polyunsaturated!
How Does It Help In Managing Diabetes?
One cup of cooked chickpeas contains:
- 269 calories;
- 15 g of protein;
- 45 g of carbs;
- 4 g of fat;
- 13 g of dietary fiber;
- 0 g of cholesterol.
It’s truly amazing how one cup of these beans in their raw form provides one with as much as 50% of their daily potassium needs. But also, 21% of their calcium needs, 55% of their vitamin B6, 69% of their iron, 57% of their magnesium, 13 % of their vitamin C, and 2% of their vitamin A needs.
But even all this is not the whole picture. These beans offer the one who consumes them a wide variety of nutrients. For instance: zinc, folate, vitamin K, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and choline. Not to mention plenty of both fiber and protein.
The Science Behind It
Studies have proven that those diagnosed with type I diabetes have lower blood glucose levels if they consume a diet high in fiber. As for those with type II diabetes, their blood sugar, insulin levels, and lipids may all improve through the consumption of Bengal Chickpeas.
Chickpeas help to prevent any raised blood glucose levels. This makes them a great choice for those with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance.
Studies conducted on mice witnessed that chickpeas decreased LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and even improved the hypo-sensitivity to insulin.
It is a well-known fact that foods that have a high glycemic index will cause one’s blood sugar levels to spike after their consumption. In comparison, those foods which are low on this scale have a far lesser effect on one’s postprandial (post-meal) blood glucose levels.
Knowing this, it’s certainly wonderful to find out that chickpeas have a GI of only 28. Which makes them a low glycemic index food.
The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” published a study back in 2004 where it stated that a meal based on chickpeas rather than wheat could indeed lead to lower postprandial blood sugar levels.
This goes for half an hour and an hour after eating and even decreased insulin levels in one’s blood 2 hours after a meal. This is largely due to the fact that chickpeas have a slower stomach-emptying time when compared to wheat.
The “British Journal of Nutrition” published a study back in October 2007 that shows that rats that were fed chickpeas together with a diet high in fats had lower blood glucose and insulin levels than those which were fed solely on a high-fat diet. They even had improved insulin resistance scores.
Bengal Grams are excellent at enhancing the utilization of glucose, which makes them ideal not just for those with diabetes, but for everyone else as well. They also help improve the urinary excretion of sugar and the overall condition of a patient with diabetes.
Research has claimed that fiber can not only promote weight loss but can also lower cholesterol and blood glucose as well. And since chickpeas are not only abundant in fiber, but also in folate, phytonutrients, and protein, they have every right to be called a superfood.
How to Use Them?
If you are looking for some ideas to integrate Bengal Chickpeas into your daily diet, here are some tips:
- Use it in flour form for making pancakes. You can mix this special flower with protein-rich curds and vegetables packed with vitamins, for a much healthier option. Make sure to cook these pancakes over a slow flame. It can take a while for them to be done;
- You can try adding some Bengal Gram to your vegetable stew;
- Use the flour of Bengal Gram to make some delicious crêpes;
- It can even be used as lentils;
- You can use it in many types of salads. You can add some rice for even more protein.
Some Other Benefits Worth Noting
Other than being completely safe to consume (no known health risks whatsoever), it represents a staple diet food in many different cultures around the world. Here are a few other reasons why you should opt for Bengal Gram:
- According to a study by the 2006 “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism”, it can aid in maintaining one’s optimum LDL and total cholesterol levels;
- It helps maintain digestive health. Consuming a diet that is abundant in insoluble fiber helps in preventing constipation as well as diverticulitis and hemorrhoids;
- It can even help prevent neurological problems and lung cancer, thanks to its high levels of vitamin B6;
- Bengal Gram aids in weight loss. This is thanks to its low GI and high fiber content, which makes you feel fuller for longer periods;
- It helps lower one’s risk of getting a heart attack. This is because it can lower bad LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol. It’s also rich in folate, which strengthens one’s blood vessels.
We hope you have found this information useful and will seriously consider including chickpeas in your diet. It’s not like you’re risking anything, you can only gain something from the consumption of this marvelous superfood. Eat well and stay healthy, dear readers.