13 Healthy Reasons Why Chickpeas Are a Top Dietitian’s Favorite Plant-Based Protein

Chickpeas are officially the new cauliflower—here's why they're so damn healthy for you.

In case you haven't heard, chickpeas are the cauliflower of 2020. No longer just eaten on top of salads or in plain hummus, the legume has morphed into everything from pasta and chips to vegan ice cream and cookie dough. But of course just because something is popular doesn't always mean it's healthy—even in the world of wellness.

In the latest episode of Well+Good's video series You Versus Food, registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, shares the low-down on chickpea benefits, and if they're really worth adding into more of your meals. (Spoiler alert: This is one trend she's super into.)

One reason why Beckerman loves this legume is because it's a low-glycemic index food. "That means that the combo of fiber and protein helps slow carb absorption and maintain healthy blood sugar levels," she says. By promoting even blood sugar levels (instead of spikes and crashes) throughout the day, these types of foods can help maintain energy and mood stability, too.

The fiber in chickpeas—which, FYI, contain a whopping 11 grams per cup—offers up other important benefits, too. Beckerman says chickpeas are a heart-healthy food, since they're rich in soluble fiber (the kind that helps move fatty acids and cholesterol out of the bloodstream). That fiber count makes chickpeas a gut-friendly food, too, since fiber helps keep bulk moving through the digestive tract and can feed your body's good bacteria in moderation. Hello, digestive health!

Of course, chickpeas have way more to offer than just fiber. Watch the full episode to learn more about the nutrients in chickpeas, plus get some tips on how to cook and eat them. You'll soon be a garbanzo goddess.

Looking for more genius tips from Beckerman? Here's her ranking of all the alt-milks on the market. And these are the supplements she typically recommends women consider taking.

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