Chick peas, chickpeas or beans salty (Cicer arietinum) are names of the same plant, legumes rich in protein. Its seeds are like soy beans or dried pea, has light brown color, and can be used as a stew (or cooked vegetables), ground can be used as bread flour and roasted as we eat fried popcorn or sunflower. It has been used for 200 years as a substitute for coffee in Europe.
The young pods of this plant are not consumed, because they contain a greater amount of oxalic acid and malic acid which can cause serious disorders of the body.
The first records of this plant date from the 13 century and testify to its wide application in the region of present Turkey. From Anatolia it has been transferred to the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, and on the Balkans, it is mostly grown in Macedonia and Dalmatia. The most famous dishes of chickpeas are hummus (chick peas prayer) and falafel (fried meatballs).
It belongs to the group of high-quality food, which is recommended to be included in the everyday diet because:
- it is loaded with proteins that can replace meat protein, especially when used with rice or potatoes. These proteins help in the resorption of iron and calcium, improve the work of the spleen and have diuretic effects;
- it is an excellent source of iron. It contains double the amount of iron compared to meat, so it is recommended in the diet of anemic persons, during the menstrual cycle, in women during pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- it contains great amounts of calcium, necessary for the development of children (healthy bones and teeth), but also for women in menopause (osteoporosis);
- chick peas has a low glycemic index, and may help to stabilize the level of glucose in the blood, which makes it suitable food for diabetics;
- It contains large amounts of fiber that reduce the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and improve digestion (against constipation);
- helps in the regulation of blood pressure, the optimal operation of the nervous and muscular system, because of the presence of magnesium ;
- it is recommended for diets because it gives a feeling of satiety for a longer time;
- it reduces the risk of heart disease;
- it is very beneficial for the disposal of harmful toxins from the body, especially sulfates used as preservatives in processed food, and the same in many people cause weakness, nausea, diarrhea, rash, and wheezing (symptoms for sulphate intolerance);
- it contains manganese which acts against harmful free radicals, promotes normal functioning of the thyroid gland, while enabling the body to make a better use of some nutrients in the diet (biotin, thiamin, vitamin C and choline);
- chick peas improves immunity and protects the body from various infections and colds because of the presence of zinc and copper;
- besides the aforementioned, it contains molybdenum, selenium, phosphorus, B group vitamins and folic acid.
Caution -- However, people who are allergic to chickpeas should avoid it, as well as people who have problems with the digestive system, as it can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea and sometimes stomach cramps if it is consumed in greater amount.