The paleo diet is designed to mimic the foods hunter-gatherers ate back in the Paleolithic era some 2 million years ago. The aim of this diet can be for varying reasons – from weight loss to detoxing the body to the avoidance of capitalism and agriculture.
With the requirements of the paleo diet combined with the plethora of food available in the world, it can be tricky to know what types of food are allowed in the diet or not.
Garbanzo beans are the Spanish name for chickpeas, a popular bean in the legume family that is used in an abundance of dishes. Not only are these beans delicious, but they come with a variety of health and nutritional benefits.
If you’re new to the world of Paleolithic eating, or perhaps you’re looking to make more meals to fit the paleo diet, here is everything you need to know about whether garbanzo beans are paleo or not!
So, are garbanzo beans paleo?
Garbanzo beans are the Spanish name for chickpeas. As chickpeas are considered paleo-friendly, then garbanzo beans are, too!
Garbanzo beans are a type of legume that comes from plants that produce both beans and pulses, which have been used for food on the planet for thousands, if not millions, of years.
As the premise of the paleo diet is to replicate the foods humans ate back in the Paleolithic era, then garbanzo beans are 100% a paleo-friendly food.
There are several types of garbanzo beans available across the globe. The lighter chickpea color and shape that we all know and love are typically found in the United States, and the smaller irregular-shaped beans are commonly found in the Middle East and India. Both types of garbanzo beans are suitable for the paleo diet.
If anything, people who have committed to the paleo diet snack on garbanzo beans more than most other foods! Garbanzo beans are highly nutritious, filling, and come with a variety of health benefits that make them ideal for any type of paleo diet – whether it’s for weight loss or detoxification.
For those on a paleo diet to avoid contributing to modern agriculture and capitalism, chickpeas are an essential part of their meals.
One of the best parts about garbanzo beans is that they can come in two long lasting forms: dried or canned. Both forms are unlikely to go off like other vegetables, which means that you can bulk buy canned garbanzo beans without worrying about wasting food.
Plus, they are a tasty addition to a variety of meals such as salads, soups, homemade veggie burgers, hummus, curries, and just toasted as a snack.
What can I eat in a paleo diet?
There are several requirements that foods must meet in order to be considered paleo-friendly. This includes foods that are:
- High in protein
- Low in carbs
- Low in sugar
- Low in sodium
- High in potassium
- High in nutrients and minerals
- High in fiber
- Moderate to high fat content
Garbanzo beans are a staple for people on the majority of diets (such as paleo and vegan diets) due to their high fiber content, high protein value, and low sugar and sodium content.
Garbanzo beans do have a fairly high carbohydrate content, however, this does not mean they are therefore considered unhealthy or fattening.
Much like vegetables such as sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans are a complex carbohydrate that takes the body a couple of hours to digest. This means that people who eat garbanzo beans will be fuller for longer as the carbs digest into energy.
If you are on a paleo diet strictly for weight loss, you probably shouldn’t eat garbanzo beans every day – but even if you do, they won’t cause weight gain.
Garbanzo beans also contain:
- Linoleic and oleic acids
Linoleic and oleic acids are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that the human body cannot make on its own. Omega 3 fats are an example of this, as this polyunsaturated fat improves important functions by building brain cells.
These fats also work to prevent or improve heart disease. Linoleic and oleic acids decrease the risk of heart disease and strokes by controlling the blood cholesterol, and they also contain an antioxidant called vitamin E that supports the immune system.
Garbanzo Beans Health Benefits
The fiber content of garbanzo beans is one of the main reasons why people eat them so frequently, especially on a paleo diet. For those who have diabetes, garbanzo beans are an excellent source of fiber that works to reduce inflammation – and the low sugar content makes them even better.
Other health benefits of consuming garbanzo beans include prevention of weight gain and regularity in the intestines. While garbanzo beans are a type of carbohydrate, the nature of the beans means that they are digested slowly throughout the body, which means that people are fuller for longer.
If you have eaten a meal containing garbanzo beans, you’re likely to not need a meal for several hours afterwards, which prevents snacking. Therefore, garbanzo beans prevent weight gain and can combat obesity!
So, we’ve talked about how garbanzo beans are highly fibrous. These beans contain raffinose, a soluble fiber that can be broken down by bacteria in the colon.
As the bacteria breaks this soluble fiber down, it creates a fatty acid called butyrate that reduces inflammation in the cell walls. To put it simply, this soluble fiber works to promote regularity and can, in theory, contribute to preventing colon cancer.
If you’re about to start a paleo diet and you’re looking for meal plan ingredients, or if you’re in the midst of the diet and wondering whether you’ve accidentally broken the diet by eating garbanzo beans – don’t fret, garbanzo beans are paleo-friendly!
Unlike some other foods, garbanzo beans don’t come with any controversy or debates around whether they are paleo or not. Not only can these beans be grown and gathered like in the Paleolithic era, but they come with an abundance of health and nutritional benefits.