Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chickpeas: A Great Source of Fiber, Potassium, and Protein!

Whether you call them Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas, this funny sounding food is packed with great nutrition particularly for a runner. Chickpeas are a fiber-rich food. Fiber-rich foods not only help keep you regular, but they help you feel full longer.  Fiber (especially soluble fiber as found in chickpeas) helps to lower blood cholesterol and slow the absorption of sugar. So, if you're diabetic, this is a great food for you.  As for runners, chickpeas contain calcium and magnesium. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction and magnesium is needed for bone maintenance as well as proper function of nerves and muscles.  Chickpeas are also packed with potassium. This heart-healthy macronutrient and electrolyte is needed for a contracted muscle to relax. So, as a runner, keeping your potassium stores topped off helps stave off possible muscle cramps from depleted potassium stores lost through perspiration.  And to top it off , they're a good source of vegetable protein.  Chances are you've eaten Hummus , a popular middle eastern spread. Hummus is actually Arabic for chickpea. Hummus is readily available at your local grocery store and is also easy to make at home. Click here for a simple recipe. Chickpeas also make a great addition to any salad or pasta dish.  Added to a salad, chickpeas add a hearty meaty texture  and because of the high fiber, makes a salad more filling and satisfying. My family makes a great Chicken Primavera that incorporates chickpeas and it's awesome! Check out the recipe here.  

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