Garbanzo Beans / Chickpea / Bengal Gram, Raw

ORAC Value:
μ mol TE/100g.

The antioxidant value of Garbanzo Beans / Chickpea / Bengal Gram, Raw described in ORAC units is: 847 μ mol TE/100g.


Are chickpeas and garbanzo beans the same thing? Yes they are. This legume, Cicer arietinum goes by many different names but there's no difference between them. Bengal gram is another name for chickpeas you will see used by Indians - as in the country India - where it is a popular ingredient for dishes like chana masala and curries. In Mediterranean cuisinse, you will find it used for the base of hummus, falafel, as well as numerous salads. In American fusion cuisine it serves as a popular vegan protein source for things like veggie burgers and gluten free pasta. Whatever you want to call them, they are one of the most popular beans worldwide due to versatility and ease of digestibility when compared to many other legumes.

The biggest benefits of garbanzo beans though are not antioxidants. In fact, when you compare them to other ingredients which are used in a similar fashion (i.e. grains) the chickpea scores quite a bit lower according to the ORAC scale. As you see above, garbanzo's ORAC value is 847. Most whole grains will rank around double that amount. For example, white sorghum grain (which is the lowest scoring version of sorghum) comes in at 2,200. The same holds true when you compare the nutritional value of chickpeas vs. black beans, soy, pinto, and many others. Even in their boiled form (which reduces antioxidant content) black beans calculate out to be 2,249... which is still over 2.5x that of raw garbanzo.

But don't worry, there are plenty of other reasons you should keep using this delicious bean in your recipes! Their protein content is excellent, which actually rivals and even exceeds many meats, when you compare protein content on a per calorie basis. 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of chickpeas contain 19 grams of protein. That means they are 19% protein! Yes, that also means 364 calories but given that it provides 17 grams of dietary fiber (68% of your daily value) you are left feeling full and satisfied, versus some of the highly-processed grains which may satisfy you for a couple hours but then you're starving.

A myth about garbanzo is that they're high fat. Sure, hummus is because of all the olive oil that's added, but when you look at the naked beans, you're getting 6 grams (9% of daily value) from that 364 calorie serving... which equals a low fat ratio.

Then there are the minerals. That same serving size provides 34% of your daily value of iron, 28% of magnesium, 10% of calcium, and 25% of potassium.

As far as vitamins, the bengal gram is not a particularly potent source. Zero vitamin vitamin D, only 1% of your vitamin A daily value, 6% for vitamin C. The only one in respectable quantity is vitamin B-6 which calcs out to be 25%.

ORAC Source

USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010