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Black Chana: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Chana has been an essential part of our diet and people across the country enjoy it in their unique ways. Black chana is a staple ingredient in every Indian household used in the preparation of salads, soups and other side dishes. It is packed with proteins, fibre, and carbohydrates, which makes it an excellent addition to your everyday diet. The demand for black chana is growing high in which India is the largest producer of black chana and more than 50 countries are producing it. Other major chickpea producers are Turkey, Pakistan, Australia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. Scientifically black chana is known as Cicer arietinum, other common names of black chana are Bengal gram and garbanzo beans.1 Black chana can be more than a snack or food ingredient because of its potential uses, let us discuss the benefits of black chana. 

black chana benefits

Did You Know?

  • Black chana is a rich source of protein, with approximately 19 grams per 100 grams. source: USDA
  • It is also a good source of dietary fibre, providing around 17 grams per 100 grams. source: USDA
  • Black chana contains essential minerals like iron, with approximately 6.2 milligrams per 100 grams. source: USDA
  • Black chana is a low glycemic index food, making it suitable for individuals with diabetes. source: USDA
  • Black chana is a cholesterol-free food, making it heart-healthy. source: USDA

Nutritional Value of Black Chana: 

Black chana has high nutritional value as it contains plenty of nutrients like carbohydrates, fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals.   

Nutritional component  Value  
Macronutrients  
Carbohydrates  57.8g 
Proteins  22.4g 
Fat  6.69g 
Fibre  10.8g 
Sugar  10.8g 
Energy  387kcal 
Minerals  
Iron  4.86mg  
Calcium  45mg  
Magnesium  166mg  
Phosphorous  318mg  
Sodium  64mg  
Potassium  846mg  
Zinc  2.81mg  
Copper  0.912mg  
Selenium  8.3μg  
Manganese  1.6mg  
Vitamins  
Vitamin B1 0.486mg  
Vitamin B2 0.106mg  
Vitamin B3 1.76mg  
Vitamin B5 0.606mg  
Vitamin B6 0.492mg 
Folate  437μg  

Table 1: Nutritional value of black Chana per 100 grams of serving2 

In my experience, I have observed that chickpeas could be beneficial for vision due to their high content of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for various developmental processes in the body, including vision. By incorporating chickpeas into your diet, you can potentially support your vision health by ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin A.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Also Read: Green Peas: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Black Chana: 

The properties of black chana are as follows. 

  • It may show antioxidant property  
  • It may show anti-inflammatory property  
  • It may show anti-ulcerative property   
  • It may show anti-bacterial property   
  • It may show anti-fungal property   
  • It may show anti-cancer property   
  • It may help in managing weight  
  • It may lower blood sugar levels 
  • It may help lower blood cholesterol1  

Also Read: Cluster Beans: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

Over the years, I have observed that chickpeas have been traditionally used for multiple purposes. They are known for their potential anthelmintic property, which means they can help in expelling parasitic worms from the body.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Uses of Black Chana for Overall Health: 

Black chana is rich in nutrients, which may show potential uses against many health conditions. Some of the uses of black chana are given below.  

1. Potential uses of black chana for diabetes: 

Chickpeas have a low glycemic load and less glycemic index with strong amylose which digest slowly. These elements assist in avoiding unexpected spikes in blood sugar and glucose concentrations, which may help in type 2 diabetes by maintaining the overall sugars in the blood.3 However, if you are suffering from a severe condition like diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider before using black chana or any herbal remedy for its benefits.  

2. Potential uses of black chana for heart disease: 

Black chana contains a substance called sterol, which structurally looks like cholesterol. It interferes with cholesterol absorption in the blood and may help in reducing blood cholesterol levels. The high fibre content and unsaturated fats may also help in managing the lipid content in the blood. These properties may help in maintaining healthy heart conditions.3 However, more research is needed to support the use of black chana against heart disease. Therefore, you should adhere to the doctor’s advice in case of any heart condition.  

3. Potential uses of black chana for weight management: 

Black chana is a rich source of fibres and these fibres give a sense of fullness in the stomach, and it takes more time to digest. The feeling of fullness helps in lower food intake, and this may lead to proper weight management.3 However, if you want to lose or manage weight, you should talk to a dietician or nutritionist. They can guide you about each diet’s risks and benefits.  

4. Potential uses of black chana for gut health: 

Black chana contains a substance called raffinose, which is broken down by the gut bacteria into Butyrate. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid (SCF) which may help in reducing inflammation in the gut, maintain regularity in the intestine and keep the gut healthy.3 However, if you experience any problems with your gut, reach out to your doctor and get a diagnosis.  

Though some studies show the potential uses of black chana in various diseases, there is a need for further studies to find the true extent of the benefits of black chana on human health.  

Also Read: Rajma (Kidney Beans): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

How to Use Black Chana? 

There are many ways to make black chana a part of your diet.   

  • Roast and season them for a healthy snack 
  • Put it in soups, salads and other side dishes  
  • Bend it with herbs and spices to make Hummus 
  • Use the powder as a replacement for regular flour  

You must consult a qualified doctor before consuming black chana or herbal remedies. You should not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Based on my experience, I have observed that chickpea seeds have been used as tonics, stimulants, and aphrodisiacs in traditional medicine. They were believed to boost energy levels, enhance overall vitality, and promote sexual desire.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Side Effects of Black Chana: 

You need to consume Kala chana in moderate amounts as they contain high fibre. Overeating fibre is associated with side effects like stomach pain and gas.4  

Also, before using black chana or any herbal remedy, talk to your healthcare provider about the possible side effects associated with its use.  

Precautions to Take with Black Chana: 

Some general precautions associated with the black chana are as follows.  

Precaution for pregnant women 

Black chana is safe for pregnant women in normal food quantity. Black chana is a good source of fibre and folate.5 However, it should not be consumed in excess in as it can cause side effects 

Precaution for breastfeeding women 

Breastfeeding women should avoid eating black chana in excess. Instead, black chana should be consumed in moderate amounts.  

Precaution for elderly and children 

Children should eat black chana under the guidance of their elders to avoid overeating. Also, black chana should be consumed in moderation by the elderly to avoid stomach problems.  

Before using black chana as a medicine, or its benefits, talk to your healthcare provider about the possible precautions associated with its use. It will help you avoid unwanted health effects.  

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

There is a lack of data on the interaction of black chana with drugs. If you are on medication or treatment for a particular disease condition, talk to your healthcare provider about the possible interaction of the treatment with other foods and medicines.  

Also Read: Peanuts: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are black chana benefits?  

Black chana can be an excellent addition to everyday diet due to its high nutritional value. Other potential uses of black chana may include lowering diabetes, avoiding the risk of heart diseases, weight management and maintaining proper gut health.3 However, before using black chana against any health condition, talk to your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis.  

Can I use black chana for weight loss? 

Fibre-rich foods might be an effective way to manage weight and black chana is a good source of fibre. Fibre provides a feeling of fullness in the stomach for a longer period, thereby reducing the food intake.3 However, people looking to lose or manage weight should talk to a healthcare provider or a dietician. They will be able to guide you better.

What are the side effects of black chana? 

Black chana is rich in fibre. Eating black chana in excess may cause problems like stomach pain and gas.4 Therefore, you are advised to eat black chana in moderation.  

Can I eat black chickpeas if I have diabetes? 

Black chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means it causes a lower spike in your blood glucose levels.  The high fibre content in the black chana makes it digest slowly in the stomach and the food intake is reduced. Therefore, black chana might be a good dietary choice for diabetic people.3 However, you are advised not to use any herbal remedy without a doctor’s consultation. 

Is black chana good for hair? 

No valid reports are claiming the potential effects of black chana on hair. There is a need for more research regarding this subject. 

References: 

1. Jukanti AK, Gaur PM, Gowda CL, Chibbar RN. Nutritional quality and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): a review. British Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Aug;108(S1): S11–26. Available from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/nutritional-quality-and-health-benefits-of-chickpea-cicer-arietinum-l-a-review/BCD8920297E987AAABBC12BFF90EB0CF 

2. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 9]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174288/nutrients 

3. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 9]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans/ 

4. Dietary fibre – Better Health Channel [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 21]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fibre-in-food 

5. Pregnancy and diet – Better Health Channel [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 9]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-diet 

Disclaimer: 

The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.
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