Manage Diabetes Naturally with Bengal Chickpea


Discover How Bengal Chickpeas can Help Manage Diabetes Naturally

bengalgram_mBengal Chickpea is also known as Bengal Gram or dark Brown Peas or Channa. It is one of the important pulses in India.

Bengal gram has good amount of iron, sodium, selenium and small amount of copper zinc and manganese. They are also a very good source of folic acid and fiber. It also contains phytochemicals called saponins, which act as antioxidants.

It has been recently discovered that split Bengal gram or chickpea is one of the best pulses for diabetics due to its low glycemic index. It helps in managing the utilization of sugar effectively causing a slow rise in blood sugar levels.

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a healthy way to add more protein and other essential nutrients to your meals.

Chickpeas are good sources of fiber, iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, magnesium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B-6.

They are also very high in dietary fiber and hence a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated.

How Does it Help Manage Diabetes?

One cup of cooked chickpeas contains following:

  • 269 calories
  • 45 grams of carbohydrate
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 13 grams of dietary fiber
  • 4 grams of fat
  • zero grams of cholesterol

One cup of raw chickpeas provides 50% of daily potassium needs, 2% vitamin A, 21% calcium, 13% vitamin C, 69% iron, 2% sodium, 55% vitamin B-6 and 57% magnesium besides providing a variety of rich nutrients like vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline and selenium.

It is an excellent source of protein and fiber.

Scientific Evidence about Bengal Gram and it’s Impact on Diabetes!

Studies have shown that for people with type 1 diabetics, who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels. And for people with type 2 diabetes, who consume Bengal Chickpeas may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.

Chickpeas may help prevent elevated blood sugar levels, making them a good choice for diabetics or if you have insulin-resistance or hypoglycemia. A U.S. patent application from Jumpsun Bio-Medical Shanghai Company Ltd. conducted studies of chickpeas for prevention and treatment of obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes. The effects on mice proved that chickpeas not only decreased triglyceride, cholesterol and LDL levels, but found improvement in the hypo-sensitivity to insulin.

Foods with a high glycemic index can cause large spikes in blood glucose levels after you eat them, while those with lower glycemic index scores have less of an effect on postprandial, or after-meal, blood glucose levels. The glycemic index of chickpeas is 28, which falls into the range for low-glycemic index foods.

Consuming a meal based on chickpeas instead of wheat leads to lower postprandial blood glucose levels at both 30 minutes and 60 minutes after eating, as well as lower insulin levels in the blood 120 minutes after eating, according to a study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in March 2004. This is most likely due to the longer stomach-emptying times of chickpeas compared to wheat.

Preliminary research using rats shows that chickpeas may be beneficial in lowering diabetes risk. Rats fed chickpeas along with a high-fat diet didn’t have the same high blood glucose and high insulin levels after meals as those fed a high-fat diet alone and also had better insulin resistance scores, according to a study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” in October 2007. Further research is necessary to see whether this is also the case with people who consume chickpeas.

Bengal grams enhance the utilization of glucose, which is good for diabetic persons and also for normal persons. Bengal gram extracts are good for diabetic patients. It helps in improving the blood sugar levels, glucose, tolerance, urinary excretion of sugar and overall general condition.

Fiber in chickpea is 12.5g / 164g which slows the rate at which food enters your bloodstream and increases the speed at which food exits your body through the digestive tract. This keeps your blood sugar and cholesterol in the ideal balance. Research shows that fiber can lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol and promote weight loss.

Packed with fiber, protein, folate and phytonutrients, chickpeas have a lot to brag about!

How to Use Bengal Chickpeas?

If you are wondering how to use this, here are some ideas:

– Use Bengal Chickpea flour for preparing the pancake. In fact you can mix the flour with vitamin rich vegetables and protein rich curds to enhance its taste. You should cook these pancakes over a slow flame because it takes a while to cook well.

– Add Bengal Gram to your vegetable stew

– Use Gram flour to prepare crêpes

– Use it as lentils

– Use it along with salad – Toss chickpeas and a variety of other legumes with any vinaigrette for an easy protein-packed bean salad. Add some rice to make it a complete protein.

How Safe is it?

It is a staple diet in many cultures and there are no known safety risks.

Other Benefits of Bengal Chickpea

Here are the potential benefits of taking Bengal gram:

  • It helps to maintain the optimum levels of LDL and total cholesterol - A study appearing in the 2006 “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism” reports total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly lowered by a chickpea-supplemented diet, compared to wheat-supplemented diet.
  • It helps the digestive tract - the fiber in chickpea can support the digestive tract function. Chickpeas contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per 164g. Also at least two-thirds (3g per 4.3g of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble. This insoluble fiber passes all the way through our digestive tract unchanged, until it reaches our large intestine (the colon). These fibers help maintain a healthy digestive tract by lowering pH to promote healthy bacteria, adding bulk to stool and attracting water that helps soften stools. Eating a diet rich in insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and associated conditions like hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
  • It helps prevent lung cancer and neurological problems - chickpeas are a good source of vitamin B6, 0.2mg per 164g. In a large study, people with the highest blood levels of vitamin B6 were half as likely to develop lung cancer compared with people who had the lowest levels.
  • It helps with weight loss -Due to high fiber content and low GI, chickpeas are excellent for weight loss diets. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and can keep you full longer, controlling the appetite.
  • It helps in lowering the risk of heart attack - Regular intake of Chickpeas can lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol. Garbanzos contain the significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate lowers the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine and strengthens the blood vessels. Studies have found chickpeas lower the risk of heart attack.

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