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How to add chickpeas to your diet

Chickpeas are packed with key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

I've been chickpea-obsessed for years. As a nutritionist, I've long touted the nutritional and health benefits of this mighty plant. And as a plant-based cook, I'm impressed by the countless ways to incorporate chickpeas into both savory and sweet dishes, from traditional hummus to chickpea ice cream. Here's more about why chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, deserve to be a staple in your diet (and tasty ways to enjoy them).

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a member of the pulse family, a unique subcategory of legumes. Pulses, which also include beans, lentils, and dry peas, are the dried edible seeds of legume plants that are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. Higher-fat legumes, like peanuts and soybeans, are not pulses, neither are fresh peas and beans.

Chickpeas, which originated in the Middle East, are the one of the most widely consumed pulses in the world. There are several dozen distinct varieties, including the European pale yellow type popular in the US, as well as black, dark brown, and reddish chickpeas. You can find chickpeas in the same aisle as canned and dried bagged beans in the grocery store.

Chickpea plants can grow to about 2-feet tall, with small, feathery leaves and white or reddish blue flowers. One pod contains one to three peas, about a half-inch in diameter. Garbanzo is the name used for chickpeas in Spanish-speaking countries.

Chickpea nutrients

Chickpeas are nutrient powerhouses. According to the US Department of Agriculture database, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas provides 269 calories, 14.5 grams of protein, 4.25 grams of fat, and 44.9 grams of carbohydrate, with a whopping 12.5 grams from dietary fiber. That's over 44% of the daily recommended fiber intake.

Chickpeas are also packed with key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, people who regularly consume chickpeas and/or hummus have higher intakes of not only fiber, but also vitamins A, E, and C; folate; magnesium; potassium; and iron.

A 1-cup cooked portion of chickpeas supplies over 80% of the daily value for manganese, a mineral the body needs to make energy; protect cells; and support strong bones, blood clotting, and immunity. The same-sized amount also packs a significant portion of the daily need for several nutrients: over 70% of the daily need for folate, which assists in making DNA; 26% for iron, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body; 20% for magnesium, which helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and muscle and nerve function; 14% for potassium, required for blood pressure control, as well as kidney, heart, muscle, and nerve function; and 17% for immune-supporting zinc. Pulses, including chickpeas, are also chock-full of antioxidants, which are linked to protection against heart disease, cancer, and neurological diseases, according to a 2020 report.

Chickpea health benefits

Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free and are not a common trigger of allergies or intolerances. They're also incredibly health protective. Consumption of chickpeas and other pulses lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and increases good gut bacteria to support digestive health and anti-inflammation, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. And compared to non-chickpea/hummus eaters, regular chickpea/hummus consumers are more likely to have lower BMIs and waist measurements, per government data.

Authors of an Australian study asked 42 volunteers to consume their usual diets, plus about 3.5 ounces of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks, and then return to their typical diets for a month. The participants' food diaries revealed that they ate less from every food group, particularly grains, during the chickpea intervention.

Chickpea benefits beyond nutrition

Pulses, including chickpeas, are extremely environmentally friendly. In addition to being drought-friendly (pulses use just a tenth of the water of other proteins) and frost-hardy, pulses enrich the soil where they grow, which reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. They're also readily available and affordable. A 1-pound bag of dried chickpeas, which contains 13 servings, generally costs less than $1.50, and a 15.5-ounce can with 3.5 servings runs about $0.85.

Chickpea side effects

When you first ramp up your chickpea intake you may experience more gas, but research shows that your body will adapt. One study actually measured this using beans. Over an eight-week period, 40 volunteers added either a half cup of canned carrots daily (the control, as this veg rarely triggers GI effects) or a half cup of beans. Within the first week, about 35% of the bean eaters reported an increase in flatulence (note: 65% did not). By week two, only 19% reported excess gas. And the number continued to drop weekly—down to 3% by week eight, the same response as the carrot eaters.

Because chickpeas are in the same family as beans, you can expect a similar digestive adjustment. If you purchase dry chickpeas, soaking them overnight and then discarding the soaking water leaches out natural compounds in pulses that trigger gas production. For canned chickpeas, rinsing them thoroughly after draining can also help curb bloating.

Ways to enjoy chickpeas

Chickpeas are one of the most versatile foods on the planet. At breakfast I blend them into smoothies and slightly mash them to make veggie, herb, and chickpea scrambles. I love oven-roasted chickpeas as a snack or a garden salad addition. And chickpeas provide a plant protein source in everything from soups and bowls to stir fries, curries, casseroles, tacos, chilled protein salads (in place of chicken or tuna), falafel, veggie burgers, and of course hummus.

Chickpeas also make a stellar addition to desserts. They can be transformed into cookie dough, blondies, brownies, dark chocolate truffles and bark, fudge, pudding, dessert hummus, and more.

Aquafaba, the liquid in canned chickpeas or the water used to cook dried chickpeas, has become quite a sensation. It can be used as a vegan alternative to dairy and eggs to make meringue, mayonnaise, and even vegan ice cream or chocolate mousse. There are also a wide variety of chickpea products on the market these days, including chickpea protein powder, flour, butter/spreads, pasta, puffed snacks, granola, and cereal. Some that I really like are:

    ($40, amazon.com) ($13, amazon.com) ($18, amazon.com)

Bottom line

There are numerous advantages to eating more chickpeas, and the downside of gas/bloating can be improved by consuming them more frequently. I advise my clients to incorporate a half cup of pulses daily, including chickpeas, either as the protein in a meal or as a fiber-rich carbohydrate source. You can certainly eat more than this amount, but it may be best to work up to larger quantities to give your digestive system time to adjust. Also be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body handle the fiber chickpeas provide. To up your intake, BPA-free canned chickpeas in particular offer a simple, cost-effective, shelf-stable, ready-to-eat option. Stock them as a staple in order to take advantage of their many uses and benefits.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

One of the building blocks for cells, protein is essential for overall health, no matter a person’s age. According to dietician Mac Singh, co-founder, Fitelo, it is a myth that only body builders or those who regularly go to the gym need protein. “From the hair to the nails to a lot of hormones in your body are all dependent on protein,” he says.

Worried about daily protein requirements, a lot of us look up to protein supplements and bars available easily these days. We often think natural sources won’t be able to suffice our daily protein requirements, especially for those who are vegetarian.

Despite the thought that there are few options for vegetarian protein, there is one common food that we love and enjoy, which is not only rich in protein, but is also a good source of potassium, magnesium and iron – chickpeas. So if you are all over your chhole, Singh brings you five simple ways to use this pulse.

Indulge In A Hummus Spread

How to add chickpeas to your diet

This Middle Eastern spread sure has our heart. Hummus is a great way to use chickpeas for its protein content. While you choose mayonnaise as a spread, we’d like to bring this vegan spread to your notice, health benefits of which include:

• Fighting inflammation
• Improving blood sugar levels
• Lowering risk of heart disease
• Weight loss

Make A Chaat

How to add chickpeas to your diet

You hear the word chaat, and you smile. Is it now? Did you know that by adding boiled chickpeas to your chaat, you can give it a healthy touch? Apart from upping the protein level, they are low on calories, helping you shed weight. This chaat can be your post-workout buddy to help repair wear and tear caused during the workout, in addition to building muscle.

Whip Up A Salad

How to add chickpeas to your diet

If you are not up for going through elaborate recipes to create healthy and delicious salads, this protein can come to your rescue. Add boiled chickpeas to your salad for a twist. They will make it more filling and protein dense. It will also work with a simple dressing of salt, pepper and lemon juice minus the oil, and will make you feel fuller for a longer time.

Add Chana Powder To Drinks

How to add chickpeas to your diet

The country and its people have been using chana powder (sattu) for a variety of dishes for years. Simply roast and add it to your shakes, drinks like jaljeera and lassi for benefits galore. Sattu itself is used to make a delicious summer drink.

Have A Different Soup

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Yes, you can make chickpea soup very easily. In fact, it is served as a delicacy in many dhabas and eateries up North. You can use chickpea stock along with chickpeas to give your soup an Indian flavour with mild spices and a dash of lime. It helps fight inflammation, thereby boosting immunity and regulating blood sugar levels.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are spherical legumes with chunky centers perfect for any meal. These mini beans pack a nutritional punch as well. They’re chock full of fiber, plant-based protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium—all of which promote physical health and wellbeing. Due to their fibrous, protein-filled nature, chickpeas are great for anyone who needs to control their satiety.

While knowing the benefits of chickpeas is one thing, finding genius and tasty ways to use chickpeas in your diet is quite another. Check out these fantastic recipe ideas and recommendations.

Chickpea Curries

Indian cuisine is full of tasty, vegetable-filled goodness. A great way to enjoy chickpeas in your diet is with a chickpea curry like chana masala or chana saag. This tomato-based curry boasts a variegated spice palate with ingredients like jalapeno peppers, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. The best part is there are dozens of variations to try, including vegan options.

Chickpea Soups and Salads

If you want to add a healthy boost to your diet, try incorporating chickpea soup or salad into your day. Dishes like roasted garlic and tomato chickpea soup or Moroccan spiced chickpea soup are sure to provide a flavorful blast of health.

Who said salads need a bed of leaves? Chickpea salads shatter the status quo and give you your favorite veggies served atop a rolling mound of garbanzo beans. Mediterranean or Greek chickpea salads are wonderful recipes that bring all the freshness you could want in a filling salad.

Chickpea Desserts

Who doesn’t love a tasty and healthy dessert? Well, you’ve got to try all the sweet-tooth takes on blended chickpeas. The best flavor combination for chickpeas is chocolate, as it complements their beany, nutty flavor. One of the best chocolate-chickpea creations is sprouted chocolate dessert hummus. This dippable flavor explosion is perfect for finishing your meal.

Keep these genius and tasty ways to use chickpeas in your diet in mind as you build your next meal plan. With a plateful of these little legumes, you can promote physical and mental health on your journey to optimal fitness.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Chickpeas/ Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas, also know as garbanzo beans, are a member of the Fabaceae botanical family which includes other beans such as fava, kidney, lima, and pinto. When properly cooked, they are the ultimate mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. Read on to see why this legume should be a staple in your diet.

Packed with Nutrients

Chickpeas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein. Most notably, chickpeas are quite high in folate and manganese. Folate is needed to make DNA and other genetic material. Adequate folate intake also reduces the risk of neural tube defects among pregnant women. Manganese aids the body in forming connective tissue and bones while it also assists with fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation.

Per 1-ounce serving of chickpeas provides:

  • Calories: 46
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Folate: 12% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 5% of the RDI
  • Copper: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 14% of the RDI

Rich In Plant Protein

Garbanzo beans are also rich in plant-protein, making them a suitable protein source for those who do not eat meat. Some studies suggest that the quality of the protein in chickpeas is better than that of other types of legumes. This is because chickpeas contain all of the essential amino acids, except for methionine. For this reason, it’s best to combine chickpeas with whole grains like rice and quinoa (both of which you can find in Chef Soraya bowls!).

Appetite Control

It is the protein and fiber in chickpeas that can work together to combat your appetite. Protein and fiber work synergistically to slow digestion, which helps promote fullness. In addition, protein may increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones in the body. If you often find yourself still hungry after eating, you may want to try adding chickpeas to your diet due to their fullness-promoting effects.

Blood Sugar Control

There are several reasons why garbanzo beans are good for blood sugar control.

Firstly, garbanzo beans have a fairly low glycemic index, a gauge for how rapidly your blood sugar rises after eating. Diets with low-GI foods have been shown to promote blood sugar management.

One study found that participants who consumed 728 grams of chickpeas per week had a notable reduction in their fasting insulin levels, which is an important factor in blood sugar control.

What’s more, several studies have associated chickpea consumption with a reduced risk of several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. These effects are often attributed to their blood-sugar-lowering effects.

Inexpensive

Chickpeas are affordable and convenient. You can find them in canned or dried varieties in most grocery stores. Some ways to incorporate chickpeas into your diet include:

– toast in oven for crunchy garbanzo snacks

– incorporate into veggie burgers or tacos

A Note About Our Garbanzo Beans

The garbanzo beans used in our Chana Masala bowl are sustainably sourced. Our vendor “dry land” farms the beans using little or no irrigation. Legume crops release nitrogen to the soil and are used as a rotation crop to fertilize the soil. So, this superfood not only benefits your health but the health of the soil too! These gems of nature are cooked, then air-dried utilizing heat & steam generated by a turbine regen system. The dehydration process removes the water but preserves all the nutrients for you to receive when you rehydrate and enjoy your Chef Soraya bowl!

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Cheap, delicious and versatile, chickpeas (sometimes called garbanzo beans) are an easy food to add to your diet to gain nutritional benefits. From salads, homemade channa masala curry and making your own hummus, to using chickpea flour for your morning pancakes, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and are a great source of plant-based protein. Here are five more reasons to put them on your shopping list…

Keep anemia at bay

Chickpeas are a good source of iron, which is essential for the blood to transport oxygen around the body to its cells. Iron deficiency anemia can occur after prolonged periods without enough iron. Research suggests that iron stores can be lower in vegetarian women, especially those with a poor diet. This can lead to iron deficiency anemia, causing weakness, tiredness and in severe cases, life threatening organ damage.

Improved mental health

How to add chickpeas to your diet

A cup of chickpeas plays a role in mood, learning and memory. (Shutterstock)

A cup of chickpeas contains around a sixth of your daily recommended amount of choline, an essential nutrient that impacts liver function, muscle movement, metabolism, healthy brain development and nervous system function. It plays a role in mood, learning and memory, with some research suggesting that it can help reduce the severity of both mania and depressed moods, especially in bipolar patients.

Benefits digestion

Chickpeas are rich in soluble fiber, which not only helps increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut, but keeps the unhealthy bacteria in check, too. This in turn reduces the risk of digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. It is important to note that in some cases chickpeas can help with bloating and gas, but some with irritable bowel syndrome may find it a trigger.

Helps fight diabetes

How to add chickpeas to your diet

One study showed that eating at least 30 g of fiber every day could reduce inflammation in people with type 1 diabetes. (Shutterstock)

Fiber again is the key here, and because chickpeas are rich in it, The American Diabetes Association recommends them as a key food for those with diabetes. One study showed that eating at least 30 g of fiber every day could reduce inflammation in people with type 1 diabetes, while another study said that a high fiber diet may help lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Reduce cancer risk

Antioxidants are essential for helping the body remove toxic substances called free radicals that build up in the body. They damage cells and cause various health issues, including cancer. The selenium and beta carotene in chickpeas act as antioxidants, with selenium’s antioxidant activity linked to protection from cancer. There is also evidence that fiber can help reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Chickpeas have been associated with several health benefits – such as lowering blood sugar levels and aiding weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. Include this diabetes food in your diet.

Key Highlights

  • Chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, the two key nutrients known to promote blood sugar management
  • These delicious legumes contain a moderate amount of calories, making them a great food for weight loss
  • Try including this nutrient-rich food in your diet to lower blood sugar levels, maintain weight and improve your health

New Delhi: Chickpeas (or chane in Hindi), also known as garbanzo beans, are packed with nutrients that may offer a wide range of health benefits. They are an excellent source of protein, fibre, and several key vitamins and minerals. Beans and legumes – such as chickpeas and kidney beans – are considered a diabetes superfood, which means they are a great choice for diabetics to keep blood sugar levels stable when eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Research has shown that chickpeas have properties that may help manage blood sugar levels and control body weight.

For thousands of years, chickpeas have been grown in Middle Eastern countries. Chickpeas are widely used in a variety of Indian recipes. Being high in nutrients, these little legumes have been associated with several health benefits – such as lowering blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, improving digestion, maintaining bone structure and strength, and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, etc.

Chickpeas for diabetes: How does it help lower blood sugar and promote weight loss?

First of all, chickpeas have a low glycemic index (GI), a measure of how quickly food can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Eating a low-GI diet has been linked to better blood sugar control. Research has shown that low-GI foods, including chickpeas, can be particularly beneficial in managing long-term blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, the two key nutrients shown to promote blood sugar management. For instance, fibre slows carb absorption, which may prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity. Similarly, eating a diet rich in protein has been shown to promote healthy blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, chickpeas also contain a moderate amount of calories, giving you some 46 calories per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving – which means they can provide essential vitamins and minerals with fewer calories. Therefore, chickpeas are a great addition to a weight loss diet. Moreover, the protein and fibre content in chickpeas can help you lose weight by increasing satiety and reducing appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and consume fewer calories.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

How to add chickpeas to your diet

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As if you needed a reason to eat more healthy foods like chickpeas, what if we told you that they play a key role in driving weight loss?

Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN, registered dietitian at bistroMD, says chickpeas pack many important vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Versatile and easy to munch on, you can include this legume in an appetizer or as a focal part of your meal.

Below, Lappe and Sydney Greene, MS, RD, and member of our Eat This, Not That Medical Expert Board share all of the ways that chickpeas can help keep you full while also helping you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. After, be sure to read up on our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

They’re high in fiber.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

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As Greene notes, “one serving of chickpeas contains roughly 10 grams of blood sugar-regulating and hunger suppressing fiber, which is a critical nutrient in weight management.”

More specifically, chickpeas contain soluble fiber, which contributes to healthy gut bacteria and may also help with weight maintenance, according to Lappe.

“While the connection is not entirely clear, some evidence shows people with a diverse gut microbiome have a lower risk of developing cravings and belly fat,” she says.

They may elicit a “thermic effect.”

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Shutterstock

Chickpeas offer a great source of protein, and eating a sufficient amount of this macronutrient is key to achieving weight loss, Lappe says.

“Protein helps regulate hunger and related hormones, leading to greater satiety and curbing cravings while also supporting lean muscle and an efficient metabolism,” she adds.

Lappe also emphasizes that protein has a higher “thermic effect” compared to carbs and fat, meaning the body burns more calories digesting protein than it does with these other two macronutrients.

Plant-based protein may drive more weight loss.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Shutterstock

It’s possible that eating plant-based protein found in foods like chickpeas, quinoa, and soybeans for lunch may help prevent midday snack cravings and keep you full until dinner.

“Some studies show beans and legumes rich in plant-based protein promote greater satiety compared to animal proteins like pork and veal,” Lappe says.

They’re packed in amylose.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Shutterstock

After eating crackers or carrots with hummus, you may notice that you feel quite satisfied in spite of the fact that it’s a low-calorie snack. Aside from the satiating effects that come from both the protein and the fiber content, chickpeas also contain amylose, a resistant starch that the body digests slowly. This can especially help people with diabetes lose weight because the starch works to prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, Lappe says.

They add bulk to meals.

If you’re just eating a bowl of leafy greens for lunch, chances are you’re going to be hungry within two hours of eating. Since chickpeas offer protein and fiber, they add bulk to your meal without costing you a bunch of calories.

“High-fiber foods are shown to improve lipid levels and offer a feeling of being full while simultaneously delaying the digestion process,” Lappe says.

Bottom line, this legume is not only friendly for your budget, but it can also be included in an array of dishes—from stews to rice dishes.

“Including chickpeas in a balanced diet can help manage weight, control blood sugars, improve blood lipids, among the many benefits,” Lappe adds.

How to add chickpeas to your diet

Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume. They have a buttery, creamy textured and nutty flavor. In United States, you will find Kabuli variety, which are round, tan and slightly larger than a pea. In Middle East and India, the Desi variety is more common. These are darker, smaller and less round than Kabuli chickpeas. Today they are grown in more than fifty countries and India produces more chickpeas than any other countries in the world.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Controls Blood Sugar

To keep diabetes at bay or even control its fluctuation, one must have chickpeas. 1 cup chickpeas contain 12.5grams of fiber. A quantity that is highly beneficial for diabetes. Due to the low glycemic index, the presence of starch amylose, body absorbs and digests chickpeas gradually. Thus, chickpeas prevent sudden insulin spikes in blood.

Improves Health

Chickpeas have soluble dietary fiber, which is called raffinose. It helps colon in the digestive process. It maintains the digestive tract to be healthy and experiences regularity by flushing out the toxins. Reap its advantage to get overall gut health.

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Regulates Blood Pressure

Reap the amazing blood pressure control mechanism benefits that present in chickpeas. High blood pressure can manage with a daily sufficient intake of the potassium, which is around 4700mg. From 1 cup chickpeas, we get 474mg of potassium.

Improves Cardiac Health

Another important benefit is that you can ensure adequate nutrition supply to your heart by having chickpeas. As ii is loaded with magnesium, vitamin B, selenium, iron, fiber – you can safely indulge in goodness of chickpeas, while it automatically takes good care of your heart risks and lowers LDL cholesterol.

Boosts Bone Health & Hemoglobin Level

Chickpeas is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, C, E, antioxidants, iron and other nutrients. Chickpeas contribute heavily to bone maintenance & enhance the iron absorption capacity of body. Therefore, anemia and osteoporosis can be taken care of with the consumption of the nutrient-dense chickpeas.

To sum up, chickpeas are loaded with all the essential nutrients that the body needs therefore you must definitely include it your diet.

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How to add chickpeas to your diet

Beans are a nutritious addition to your diet, as they offer nutrients like protein and fiber. On top of that, there are so many healthy bean recipes out there to try.

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But because they are high in carbs, many people wonder if beans are gluten-free. Regardless of which types of beans you prefer, here's what you should know about gluten in beans.

Are Black Beans Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and derivatives of these grains.

With so many types of grains out there, knowing which varieties do and don't have gluten is tricky. But black beans (and all beans, really) are legumes — not grains.

That means you can safely eat them on top of your salad or in a delicious soup. Alongside quinoa, beans are another ingredient you can add to your gluten-free menu.

Although beans alone won't fulfill all your nutritional needs, they make a great source of fiber, protein and potassium, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Most beans provide about 5 to 9 grams of fiber per cup, which is a good chunk of your daily requirement (25 to 38 grams, per the USDA).

Beans are also relatively inexpensive, shelf-stable and can be incorporated into just about any savory or sweet dish.

Although they may be known for causing some unwanted gas, you can minimize these side effects by soaking your beans.

How to Buy Gluten-Free Beans

Beans are naturally gluten-free. But all legumes (and foods, for that matter) can be exposed to gluten either during preparation or during manufacturing, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

So, if you're at a restaurant, you'll want to verify that your beans are prepared on separate surfaces and with separate utensils.

When buying packaged beans, check the container to make sure they're safe from cross-contamination. If your package is labeled gluten-free, that means it has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, making it generally safe to eat, according to the FDA.

In some cases, your beans may even have a Certified Gluten-Free seal on the package. In that case, the product has been tested by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which looks for even more stringent standards. Any foods certified by the GFCO have less than 10 ppm of gluten, according to GFCO.

You'll also want to avoid buying your beans from bulk bins at the grocery store, recommends the Celiac Disease Foundation. These containers make cross-contamination more likely.

Whether you're a fan of dried beans or favor using canned varieties, start with these gluten-free products from trusted brands and get cooking.