Chickpeas are one of the most popular legumes worldwide and have been a staple in many cuisines for centuries. They are versatile, flavourful, and packed with health benefits, making them a favourite ingredient among food enthusiasts. However, with the rise of gluten sensitivities and celiac disease, many people are wondering if chickpeas and chickpea flour are gluten-free.
In this article, I aim to answer some of the most common queries related to the gluten-free status of chickpeas and chickpea flour. I’ll explore whether celiacs can eat chickpeas, if chickpeas cause bloating, and if lentils and chickpeas are gluten-free. Additionally, I’ll discuss why hummus is not gluten-free, if canned chickpeas are okay for IBS, and what are the five foods someone with celiac disease should avoid.
Are Chickpeas The Same As Garbanzo Beans?
Yes, garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same thing. “Garbanzo” is the Spanish name for chickpeas, and they are sometimes referred to by this name in the United States. In other regions, such as the Middle East and India, they are commonly known as chickpeas or chana.
Are Chickpeas Gluten Free?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause a range of digestive and other health issues, including bloating, abdominal pain, and even long-term damage to the small intestine.
Fortunately, chickpeas are naturally gluten-free and are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to consume. Chickpeas belong to the legume family, which is a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fibre. They can be enjoyed in various forms, including whole, canned, or ground into flour, making them a versatile ingredient in many recipes.
Many people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity often wonder if they can eat chickpeas. The good news is that chickpeas are a safe food choice for those with gluten sensitivities, and they do not contain any gluten. Chickpeas are a healthy and delicious addition to a gluten-free diet, and they provide numerous health benefits such as helping to control blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you can safely consume chickpeas as they are naturally gluten-free. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, dietary fibre, and offer several health benefits. Therefore, you can enjoy them in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stews, and even as a crispy snack.
Are Chickpeas Nutritious?
Chickpeas are not only a versatile ingredient in many cuisines, but they also offer a range of nutritional benefits. They are a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of cooked chickpeas (164g) contains:
- Calories: 269
- Protein: 14.5g
- Fiber: 12.5g
- Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Iron: 4.7mg
- Magnesium: 78.7mg
- Folate: 282mcg
- Potassium: 477mg
The high protein and fibre content of chickpeas can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and promote satiety, making them a great food to incorporate into a healthy diet. Chickpeas are also a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Chickpeas and Dietary Fibre
Chickpeas are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Fibre is an essential nutrient that supports various functions in the body, such as digestion and blood sugar regulation. A one-cup serving of cooked chickpeas contains around 12.5 grams of dietary fibre, which is roughly 50% of the daily recommended intake.
The two types of fibre found in chickpeas are soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to slow down digestion and promote feelings of fullness, which can help with weight management. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stools, helping to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.
The high fibre content of chickpeas also makes them a great food for managing blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, preventing blood sugar spikes and helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
In addition to being a great source of fibre, chickpeas are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them a popular choice among vegetarians and vegans. They also contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Overall, incorporating chickpeas into your diet is an excellent way to increase your intake of dietary fibre, plant-based protein, and essential nutrients.
Is Chickpea Flour Gluten Free?
Chickpea flour, also known as, garbanzo flour, garbanzo bean flour, gram flour, or besan flour, is made by grinding dried chickpeas into a fine powder. Chickpea flour has a nutty flavor and is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine to make various dishes such as falafel, hummus, and pakoras.
The good news for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is that chickpea flour is naturally gluten-free. It is an excellent alternative to wheat flour and can be used in a wide range of gluten-free recipes, including pasta, bread, and pizza crusts. Chickpea flour is also a great option for those who follow a vegan or plant-based diet as it is a good source of protein.
Chickpea flour is commonly used in gluten-free baking as it provides a high protein and fibre content, which can result in a better texture and flavour of baked goods. For instance, chickpea flour is a great substitute for wheat flour in quick bread recipes such as banana bread or chickpea pancakes. Chickpea flour is also an excellent choice for making crispy air fryer chickpeas, which are a favourite comfort food snack.
In conclusion, chickpea flour is a naturally gluten-free flour that is a great alternative to wheat flour. Chickpea flour is versatile and can be used in a wide range of gluten-free recipes, including pasta, bread, and pizza crusts. It is also a good source of protein, fibre, and other nutrients, making it a great addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Is Hummus Gluten Free?
Hummus is a popular dip made from ground up chickpeas (either tinned or raw chickpeas), tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic (i’s also one of my favourite comfort foods). It is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its rich flavour and health benefits. It’s a great way to use chickpeas in a creative way (you can literally add anything you like to hummus… within reason).
Traditionally, hummus is gluten-free, as its primary ingredients are naturally gluten-free. However, some store-bought hummus brands and homemade recipes may contain gluten due to added ingredients such as wheat flour, which is used as a thickener or to enhance the texture. Flavourings with gluten, such as soy sauce or malt vinegar, may also be added to hummus, making it unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
It is essential to read ingredient lists carefully when purchasing store-bought hummus and to ask about the ingredients when eating out. Many hummus brands offer gluten-free options, and homemade hummus recipes can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free tahini and omitting any added ingredients that contain gluten.
In conclusion, hummus is traditionally gluten-free, but some brands and recipes may contain gluten due to added ingredients such as wheat flour or flavourings with gluten. It is crucial to check ingredient lists carefully and ask about ingredients when eating out to ensure that hummus is gluten-free.
Chickpeas and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. It is characterised by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. Certain foods are known to trigger IBS symptoms, and identifying and avoiding these foods is a crucial part of managing the condition.
Chickpeas are high in fibre, which can make them difficult to digest for some people and potentially lead to bloating and gas. However, this does not mean that all people with IBS should avoid chickpeas. In fact, some people with IBS find that high-fibre foods such as chickpeas can help to regulate bowel movements and ease symptoms.
When it comes to canned chickpeas, it is important to check the ingredients to ensure that they do not contain any added ingredients that may trigger IBS symptoms. Some canned chickpeas may contain additives such as salt, sugar, or preservatives that can exacerbate IBS symptoms.
In conclusion, chickpeas can be a trigger for IBS symptoms due to their high fibre content, but they can also be beneficial for some people with IBS. It is important to listen to your body and avoid any foods that trigger symptoms. When it comes to canned chickpeas, it is crucial to check the ingredients and choose options that are free from any added ingredients that may exacerbate IBS symptoms.
Five Common Foods To Avoid For Coeliacs
Here are five common foods that people with coeliac disease should avoid due to their gluten content:
- Wheat – This includes all varieties of wheat such as durum, spelt, kamut, and semolina.
- Barley – Barley is commonly found in beer, malt, and food products such as soups, stews, and cereals.
- Rye – Rye is commonly used in bread, crackers, and other baked goods.
- Oats – While oats themselves are gluten-free, they are often cross-contaminated with gluten during processing. Therefore, it’s important to look for certified gluten-free oats.
- Processed Foods – Many processed foods, including soups, sauces, and snacks, contain gluten as a hidden ingredient. It’s important to read ingredient labels carefully and look for gluten-free certifications when possible.
Chickpeas and Phytic Acid
Chickpeas, like many other legumes, contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals, such as iron, zinc, and calcium. Phytic acid is found in the outer layer of the chickpea seed, which is why consuming raw or unprocessed chickpeas can lead to digestive discomfort and nutrient malabsorption.
However, soaking or sprouting chickpeas can help reduce the phytic acid content, making the nutrients more bioavailable. Soaking chickpeas in water overnight before cooking them can help break down the phytic acid and improve the digestibility of the chickpeas. Additionally, sprouting chickpeas can also increase the availability of certain nutrients and enzymes, making them easier to digest.
It’s important to note that while phytic acid can interfere with mineral absorption, chickpeas are still a nutrient-dense food and provide numerous health benefits, such as being a good source of protein and dietary fibre. So, including chickpeas in your diet, whether cooked or sprouted, can be a healthy choice.
Any Recommendations for Chickpeas Recipes?
I’m glad you asked! Yes! I have two great recipes for you x