How to make chickpeas more digestible

How to cook chickpeas so as to digest them better


Are chickpeas hard to digest?

Chickpeas are easily digestible foods, although, like all legumes, they contain oligosaccharides that can produce some more gas when you are not accustomed to eating them.

But within legumes, chickpeas are the most digestive legumes that exist because they contain the least amount of oligosaccharides and antinutrients, therefore they produce less flatulence.

When can chickpeas have flatulent effects?

It is true that, if not prepared properly, chickpeas can be very indigestible, due to components called antinutrients.

Eating low-cooked chickpea meal or recipes that use raw chickpeas (such as falafel) can be difficult to digest and produce flatulence.


Falafel. Recipes with chickpea flour or raw chickpeas are usually indigestible

It is convenient to know how chickpeas have to be prepared to improve their digestibility and allow us to fully enjoy their nutritional properties.

In order for the chickpeas not to be difficult to digest, they must be prepared as follows:

Soak chickpeas, the longer, the better

Chickpeas need to be pre-soaked to hydrate and be well cooked later. But soaking not only serves to hydrate legumes, but also makes them more digestible as it activates the seeds.

Why is it recommended to soak chickpeas?

Soaking the chickpeas causes different components of the seeds to react , so that they prepare for germination. During this process, many substances of defense of the legumes, called antinutrients, are eliminated.

Antinutrients of legumes are inhibitors of proteases, saponins, amylases, phytates and other components that can hinder digestion.

The time of soaking oscillates according to the type of legume. Approximately chickpeas should soak overnight and at room temperature (the longer the better). During that time, sometimes all the water is drunk, so you should add more.

Cooking chickpeas enough time

Chickpeas should not get too hard. The cooking serves to soften its fibers and to make its starches to become digestible for our digestive tract. After soaking and cooking, the legume will be more digestible.

How are chickpeas easier to digest?

If the chickpeas are consumed in a hummus or crushed in a vegetable cream, the digestion will be better because grinding them facilitates the contact of the food with the digestive enzymes.

In people who do not chew enough, it is recommended to grind them into a puree, which provides them with a better taste and a better digestion.

Cooking chickpeas in low fat

Fat slows the gastric emptying and hinders the digestive process. There are many recipes that cook chickpeas with plenty of animal fats, such as sausages and other processed meats. It is not convenient to consume them in this way, since this entails a much slower digestion.

Carminative herbs to eliminate flatulence

It is possible that some people experience flatulence when eating chickpeas because of the amount of fiber they contain. To reduce cramps and gas, in addition to the above recommendations, it may be helpful to accompany chickpeas recipes with herbal recipes.

Carminative plants relax the intestinal musculature and help eliminate gas. The main ones are: turmeric, mint, fennel, cumin, anise and caraway.

In case of strong or frequent discomfort when consuming these foods, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Myths about legumes

“Chickpeas cost to digest” is one of the many myths that circulate about legumes. There is no doubt that eating legumes every day is not harmful; they can be very nutritious and healthy. Nor is it true that they produce many gases, since the intestinal flora adapts to them . These foods are very recommended and we should discard any negative opinion against them.

punto rojo More information on chickpeas

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

10 March, 2024

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