Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have spread their culinary influence to areas all over the world. They are featured prominently in Italian, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine. Though the most common type of chickpea appears round and beige, other varieties include colors such as black, green, and red. Like other legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, chickpeas are prized for their high protein and fiber content, and also contain several key vitamins and minerals known to benefit human health. This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of the chickpea and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more chickpeas into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming chickpea.
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