What's the one thing we love the most about winters? One of the most common replies is the variety of fruits and vegetables the season brings along. From fresh carrots and turnips to leafy greens - our vegetable baskets get packed with different colourful winter produce. One such popular winter vegetable is Hara chana (green chickpeas). Commonly referred to as chholia, it tastes amazing and offers a range of health benefits too. Hara chana looks and tastes exactly like Kala chana with a striking difference in colour.
A nutritionist from New Delhi, Lovika Tyagi, says, "There are a plethora of green winter vegetables, but there is one vegetable that is not talked about a lot - green chickpeas, also known as chholia or hare chana. They are my personal favourite. Green chickpeas are a popular part of the family of legumes. When it comes to nutrition and health benefits that a portion of food can offer the human body, chholia benefits are powerful and plentiful."
Here are some benefits of consuming green chickpeas during winters:
Rich in protein
Just like their mature counterparts, green chickpeas are rich in protein, which is a satiating macronutrient, important for boosting muscle growth.
Rich in vitamins
Green chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are both important during winters, as they have antioxidant properties. Both help in boosting immunity and maintaining skin health.
Reduces cancer risk
Butyrate is a compound produced from the consumption of chickpea among healthy adults. Butyrate is reported to suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis, which may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Boost hair growth
While the deficiency of protein can lead to a slew of problems, such as hair fall, hair thinning and hair breakage, consuming food items like green chickpeas (that is loaded with protein) can boost hair growth and can also help in enhancing the quality.
Best heart support
The high mineral content in hara chana - such as magnesium and potassium - support cardiac health and prevent high blood pressure. It also contains a plant sterol called sitosterol that interferes with the body's absorption of cholesterol and thereby can help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Stay healthy and fit!