Garbanzos for Health

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We’ve all heard of cholesterol–but what is it exactly? Mayo Clinic describes cholesterol as a waxy substance found in your blood that your body needs to help build healthy cells. 

So bring it on… right? The more the merrier? 

WRONG! High levels of cholesterol can actually be dangerous. Excess cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in blood vessels, restricting blood flow and increasing the chances of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. 

While genetics can play a role, unhealthy lifestyle habits are often the culprit. Fortunately, it’s both preventable and treatable. One way to help keep cholesterol under control is maintaining a healthy diet.

For one, keep an eye on what you’re eating. Too many foods high in saturated fats can elevate your cholesterol. This includes red meat like beef & pork, processed meats, and full-fat dairy products. You don’t have to cut them out completely, but all things in moderation.

Not to fear–there are plenty of nutritious foods that counteract high cholesterol. Regularly consuming oats, whole grains, and legumes (just to name a few) can help to keep your heart healthy & safe.

There’s one certain legume that flies under the radar which may have cholesterol-lowering super powers! Research has shown that chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, can help in lowering your cholesterol profile. 

In a small study, people who ate roughly 25 ounces of chickpeas each week for 12 weeks showed an improvement in their cholesterol levels compared to not eating chickpeas for 4 weeks. Not only that, but their insulin levels also improved, and they lost a small amount of weight without dieting or exercising. 

WOW–all great reasons to add them into your diet! You can sprinkle them on your salads, roast them for a crunchy snack, or make a quick dip for veggies & crackers. Any way you want to serve them up, chickpeas are definitely worth a try. Your stomach and heart will both thank you!

Are you a fan of heart-healthy garbanzo beans? Head over to our inclusive health & wellness community on Facebook and tell us your favorite recipe! 

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