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Soybean vs Chickpea: Which legume is healthier?

Witness the nutritional showdown between soybeans and chickpeas, exploring which legume reigns supreme for health benefits and culinary versatility. Unravel the debate on protein content, vitamins, and other essential nutrients to make an informed dietary choice.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: April 24, 2024 11:35 IST
Soybean vs Chickpea
Image Source : GOOGLE Soybean vs Chickpea: Which legume is healthier?

Legumes are a cornerstone of many cuisines worldwide, offering a rich source of plant-based protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Among the plethora of legumes, soybeans and chickpeas stand out as nutritional powerhouses, each boasting a unique set of health benefits. These are nutrient-dense legumes that can contribute to a healthy diet when incorporated into meals regularly. Whether you're enjoying a hearty tofu stir-fry or a refreshing chickpea salad, these legumes are sure to nourish both your body and taste buds. Let us dive into the nutritional profiles of these two legumes and uncover which one emerges as the healthier choice.

Soybeans

Soybeans have long been celebrated for their versatility and nutritional value. These small, round beans are a complete source of protein, meaning they provide all nine essential amino acids necessary for human health. This makes soybeans an excellent protein option for vegetarians and vegans. Moreover, soybeans are rich in polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and overall well-being. They also contain significant amounts of fibre, aiding in digestion and promoting gut health.

One of the most notable components of soybeans is isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen. These compounds have been studied for their potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, alleviating menopausal symptoms, and even lowering the risk of certain cancers. Additionally, soybeans are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. These nutrients play vital roles in bone health, blood clotting, and energy metabolism.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have gained popularity in recent years due to their nutty flavour and versatility in cooking. Like soybeans, chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fibre, making them a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. In addition to protein and fibre, chickpeas are abundant in complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady release of energy and help regulate blood sugar levels. They are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them heart-healthy options.

Chickpeas are particularly rich in folate, a B vitamin essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Adequate folate intake is crucial during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Furthermore, chickpeas contain significant amounts of manganese, which plays a role in bone development and wound healing. Another noteworthy nutrient found in chickpeas is phosphorus, necessary for bone health, kidney function, and energy production. Additionally, chickpeas are a good source of iron, magnesium, and zinc, contributing to overall health and well-being.

So, Which is Healthier?

Both soybeans and chickpeas offer impressive health benefits and can be valuable additions to a balanced diet. Choosing between the two ultimately depends on individual dietary preferences, nutritional needs, and culinary preferences.

If you're looking to boost your protein intake, soybeans may be the better choice due to their higher protein content and complete amino acid profile. Additionally, soybeans offer unique health benefits attributed to their isoflavone content, making them a great option for promoting heart health and hormonal balance.

On the other hand, chickpeas excel in providing essential nutrients like folate, manganese, and phosphorus, while offering a lower calorie and fat content. They are also a great source of complex carbohydrates, making them an excellent choice for sustained energy and blood sugar control.

ALSO READ: Natural Egg vs Artificial Egg: Know 5 lesser known differences between these two high-protein sources

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