Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are inexpensive and versatile legumes. They're the main ingredient in hummus and they also work well in soups or mixed into green salads. Chickpea flour, or besan, is popular in East Indian cuisine. Chickpeas are low in calories, but rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. To avoid excess salt, rinse canned chickpeas before using or opt for dried chickpeas.
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Chickpeas are a source of dietary vitamin B6, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, riboflavin, or vitamin B2, thiamin or vitamin B1, folate and choline. Of these, vitamin B6 and vitamin B5 are the most abundant. Chickpeas are among the richest sources of vitamin B6, according to the National Institutes of Health. One of this vitamin's functions is supporting the immune system. Vitamin B5 helps the body maintain a healthy digestive tract and normal hormone production, among other functions.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
A 100g serving of canned chickpeas contains 21 IU of vitamin A and 12mcg of beta carotene, which is a small part of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of these nutrients. Vitamin A helps support the eyes, bones and normal cell division as well as the immune system. Beta carotene is a compound the body can turn into vitamin A. This compound gives orange and yellow fruits and vegetables their color. It's important for eyesight, a strong immune system and healthy skin.
A small amount of vitamin C is present in chickpeas. Most commonly found in citrus fruits, vitamin C helps the body form the collagen needed for skin, blood vessels and other tissues. Women need 75mg daily, while men require 90mg daily, according to the National Institutes of Health. A 100g serving of canned chickpeas provides 3.8mg vitamin C, or approximately 12 percent of your daily requirement.