Are chickpeas good for weight loss & muscle growth?

chickpeas for weight loss & muscle growth

Nutritional value of chickpeas

Beans are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can consume. Chickpeas are no exception. They’re an excellent food option. Especially, if you want to lose weight or build muscle mass. Above all, chickpeas are particularly high in fiber and protein. Additionally, they’re high in minerals and antioxidants.

100g cooked
A serving
(1 cup or 164g)
calories (kcal)164269
protein (g)8.8614.5
fat (g)2.594.25
carbs (g)27.445
fiber (g)7.612.5
sugars (g)4.87.9
calcium (mg)4980
iron (mg)2.894.74
magnesium (mg)4879
phosphorus (mg)168276
potassium (mg)291477
zinc (mg)1.532.51
Nutritional value of chickpeas.[1]

Most noteworthy, chickpeas are an excellent source of iron and zinc. Iron and zinc deficiency is pretty common. Consuming foods high in these nutrients is good for your health. For instance, adequate amounts of iron and zinc are necessary for increased energy levels, healthy hair and even increased fertility!

A serving of chickpeas will provide you with 4.74 mg of iron and 2.51 mg of zinc!

Calories in 1 cup of cooked chickpeas

Furthermore, chickpeas are good for losing weight fast, as they’re low in calories. 100g of boiled chickpeas contain 164 calories. Practically, 1 cup of boiled chickpeas contains only 269 calories.

Above all, chickpeas can keep you full for a long time! Therefore, eating chickpeas can help you consume fewer total calories is a day. Hence, lose weight without diet.

Additionally, chickpeas are key ingredients to many famous and tasty recipes, such as hummus and falafel.

Hummus is high in calories due to olive oil and tahini. Both are foods particularly high in fats. 100g of hummus contains 260 calories. Just 1 tbsp contains about 40 calories. So, you better be extra careful with hummus. It’s a super healthy food, but you can easily consume too many calories!

Falafel is a tasty and popular chickpea recipe, as well. But you should be extra careful, if you want to lose weight. 100g of falafel contains about 330 calories! Mainly, due to its high fat content.

Are chickpeas carbs?

Chickpeas are mainly carbs. 100g of chickpeas contain 27.4g of carbs. Most of them are starch. 7.6g are dietary fiber and 4.8g are sugars. Certainly, chickpeas aren’t suitable for a ketogenic diet. A serving contains 8g of sugars and much more starch!

Besides their high carb-content, chickpeas have a low Glycemic Load of 10.[2] It means that chickpeas won’t spike your blood sugar. If you want to lose weight fast, you should consume lots of foods with a low glycemic load. Such foods tend to keep you full for longer.

Moreover, chickpea flour has an even lower glycemic load of 7!

Last, but not least, chickpeas, as all beans, are gluten free.[3]

Fiber in chickpeas can help you lose weight fast

Most noteworthy, chickpeas are a great source of fiber. 100g of cooked chickpeas contain 7.6g of fiber. A serving of 1 cup contains 12.5g of fiber or 45% DV (Daily Value). We should consume about 28g of fiber per 2,000 calories.

Unfortunately, most people fail to consume the recommended daily intake of fiber. Low intake of fiber is a common reason of obesity! Consuming beans regularly is good for losing weight fast. Fiber of beans keeps you full for a long time. Furthermore, protein maintains your fat-free mass.

Protein content of chickpeas

Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein. 100g of cooked chickpeas contain 8.86g of protein. Practically, a serving of 1 cup of cooked chickpeas contains 14.5g of protein! Therefore, chickpeas are good for maintaining muscle mass while dieting.

Additionally, fiber along with protein make chickpeas a particularly satiating food. We tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day, if we consume foods high in protein and fiber. All beans are filling foods. Hence, they’re good for losing weight.

Foods high in protein, such as chickpeas are good for weight loss, for another reason. Digestion of protein needs 20 to 30% of the consumed calories. Fat needs only 3%. Carbs need up to 10%.[4] In other words, up to 30% of calories of protein are burnt just for its digestion. 

As a rule of thumb, eat beans regularly to lose weight without diet.

Amino profile of chickpea protein

But, do chickpeas contain high-quality protein? Does chickpea protein build muscle mass and boosts metabolism?

Above all, a quality protein has to contain all 9 essential amino acids, as the human body can’t synthesize them. We have to take them from food.

If food contains all 9 essential amino acids, it’s a complete protein! All foods from animal sources are complete protein. On the contrary, most plants aren’t a complete protein. Most of them don’t contain at least 1 essential amino acid. In this case, we have to eat a variety of foods, in order, to take all 9 essential amino acids.

Chickpeas contain high amounts of protein, but chickpeas aren’t a complete protein.[5] They lack of the essential amino acid tryptophan. Also, chickpeas have low amounts of methionine and threonine.

So, we should eat other foods high in protein, in order, to consume all 9 essential amino acids.

gr per 100g
Amino acid profile of chickpeas.

Combine chickpeas with cereals to create a complete protein

The most common food combination for a complete plant-based protein is beans with whole cereals. Cereals are low in the essential amino acid lysine. On the contrary, all beans are high in lysine. For instance, chickpeas contain 0.91g of lysine per 100g.

So, combining chickpeas and rice is good for creating a complete protein. Moreover, rice has more threonine than chickpeas. Additionally, you should eat at least 1 slice of whole-grain bread with chickpeas. Wheat has a high dosage of essential amino acids tryptophan and methionine!

Furthermore, you could eat lentils, or fava beans with brown rice and whole-wheat bread, in order, to create a complete protein. This meal helps you lose weight.

Certainly, you could add to your recipes chia or hemp seeds, as both seeds are a complete protein. Moreover, they’re an excellent source of omega-3s which preserve fat-free mass!

Another great combination for creating a complete protein is chickpeas with quinoa. For instance, chickpeas with quinoa salad is super nutritious food. Above all, it contains high amounts of high-quality complete protein. Quinoa is a complete protein, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Therefore, chickpeas with quinoa salad can help you maintain muscle mass while losing weight!

Furthermore, you can add spinach, kale, and dandelion, collard, beet, or turnip greens to boost the antioxidant content of salad. Greens are high in antioxidants, such as carotenoids that protect eyesight.

Moreover, you could add seeds and nuts to your chickpea salad, as they’re particularly high in protein. For instance, pumpkin seeds are an excellent choice for a salad that builds muscle mass! Pumpkin seeds are 30% protein! Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are a complete protein.

Combine chickpea flour with wheat flour

Moreover, you could combine chickpea flour with wheat flour to create a complete protein. Chickpea flour has a higher content of protein than wheat flour. Also, chickpea flour has a higher content of essential amino acids than wheat flour. Especially isoleucine, lysine, and tryptophan.

Furthermore, chickpea flour has more fiber and minerals, such as iron and zinc than wheat flour.

Most noteworthy, protein from chickpea flour is more absorbable. Some compounds that inhibit absorption of nutrients are decreased during the processing method. Hence, chickpea flour has a higher nutritional value.[5]

Furthermore, protein from chickpea flour has a looser structure. So, it’s absorbed better from the human body.

Therefore, the biological value of wheat bread is greatly increased when chickpea flour is added. The combination of chickpea with wheat flour creates a high-quality protein which is close to casein!

Last, but not least, you should add buckwheat flour to a bread recipe. Buckwheat is another high-quality plant-based complete protein. Combining a variety of foods high in protein is good for maintaining and even building muscle mass!

Can I eat chickpeas at night for weight loss?

Above all, we lose weight when we’re on a caloric deficit. Chickpeas help us eat less. Hence, lose weight fast. Eating chickpeas at night isn’t good for weight loss, though. You should prefer to consume chickpeas at lunch. They’ll give you steady levels of energy throughout the day. Moreover, they’ll protect your muscle mass and keep you full for a long time.

Eating chickpeas late at night won’t benefit you. Better eat snacks with fewer calories, such as popcorn. They’re low in calories but high in calories. Certainly, popcorn is an extremely satiating food.