Just like you, I like to have some variety in my meals.
The plain salad and plain chicken every day just doesn't cut it for me. I need a little more UMPH in my meals.
While I'm still a huge fan of chicken and other proteins, I occasionally like to switch out lean meats for other high protein foods.
I'm always looking for that special something I could add that would make my meal not only pop taste-wise, but could also send its nutritional value into the stratosphere. (I spend time thinking about this even when I'm not preparing meals).
Luckily, there are dozens of high protein foods that substitute for lean meat. The food I've been adding to my meals a lot, and which makes those meals so much better, is chickpeas.
Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile legume. You can use them to make:
- An extra-delicious salad
- or even just eat them on their own!
Since chickpeas are a high protein food, just grab a handful for a mid-afternoon snack.
Chickpeas, alternately known as garbanzo beans, have been cultivated for dietary consumption for over 7,000 years, and are a staple of many Middle Eastern and North African cuisines.
Beyond being absolutely delicious, chickpeas are an excellent source of many essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that not only support a healthy lifestyle, but may actually help you lose weight more efficiently.
Here's just a few of the benefits you get when you add chickpeas into your diet...
- Fiber & Protein: Chickpeas rank high on the list of high protein foods, making them an ideal choice for vegetarians who want to make sure they're getting their recommended daily total. Plus, they're fiber rich, which means not only will you fill up faster, but you'll stay full longer. Added bonus: foods that are high in fiber aid digestion and relieve the uncomfortable effects of constipation.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. Whatever you haven't used by the end of the day is flushed out of your system, so it's imperative that you get the recommended daily total every day. One cup of chickpeas provides 15% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Some research has suggested that having healthy levels of Vitamin C in your blood may increase the rate at which you burn fat during exercise.
- Stable Blood Sugar: Chickpeas are low on the glycemic index, meaning they don';t cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar. People with steady blood sugar levels are less likely to develop insulin resistance and, ultimately, type 2 Diabetes.
So next time you're considering what to add to your salad to spice it up, or just craving a delicious snack, turn to chickpeas!
Here are some Beyond Diet Recipes to get your started: