Sneaky Meat-Free Proteins #3: Chickpeas

If you've never tried hummus, you're missing out! Not only is it HIGHLY delicious, but it's one of the best uses of chickpeas. Chickpeas are an odd legume. They are VERY hard, and it takes hours of cooking to make them edible. Fun Fact: Remains of chickpeas dating back 7,500 years have been discovered in the Middle East. For every 100 grams of chickpeas, you get about 19 grams of protein. Compare that to 30 grams of protein per 100 grams of chicken breast, and you can see why chickpeas deserve their place on this list. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="608"] Source:[/caption] Aside from the protein, chickpeas offer a lot more benefits: Loaded with fiber -- Fiber improves digestive health, heart health, and prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes. Rich in manganese -- Manganese is needed both for your immune system and the healthy conversion of food to energy. Provide iron -- Iron helps your body produce more red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients. It's also necessary for pregnant, menstruating, and lactating women. Contains saponins -- Saponins are antioxidants that reduce your risk of breast cancer, minimize menopausal hot flashes, and protect against osteoporosis. Definitely a good reason to have containers of hummus in your fridge at all times!  
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