What Makes Chickpeas a 'Complete Protein'?

Monday, January 16, 2017. Author Martin Cheifetz

Chickpeas are an ancient food source, offering an extremely well balanced nutritional profile, not to mention great taste and virtually endless cooking options.  They are used in so many different types of dishes in a variety of global cuisines, it’s entirely possible you’ve been eating them without even knowing it.  Middle Eastern dishes like falafel or the now ubiquitous hummus have chickpeas as the main ingredient.  The famous Indian crisp-bread, poppadom and the hearty Italian soup pasta e fagoli also feature chickpeas as a main ingredient.

Chickpeas have become so popular across such a wide range of cultures and cuisines for good reason: They’re delicious, nutritious, easy to prepare, and are comparatively inexpensive….especially when you consider their nutrient profile. Chickpeas (often called garbanzo beans) are a pulse, or legume, and are very rich in fiber.  In fact, just 1 cup (about 165 gm) of cooked chickpeas yields 50% of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for fiber!

It’s not only fiber that makes chickpeas a staple ingredient in so many cuisines.  They are packed with protein and healthy fats, and amazingly, the same 1 cup serving also contains 70% of your RDA for the important vitamin Folate and 84% of your RDA for the trace mineral Manganese.  It should be emphasized that chickpeas are a “complete protein” meaning that they contain all 9 Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) which is one of the many reasons they have become a such a valued food ingredient for vegetarians as well as omnivores across the globe.

Need help choosing a plan?

Discover which plan best fits your needs by answering a couple of questions.

Sign up

You're signed up

Thanks for signing up to the FitnessGenes newsletter, we’ll keep you up to date with our latest news and offers.