Chickpeas (Chana) during Pregnancy – Benefits and Side Effects


What person doesn’t like chickpeas? It is a favourite dish enjoyed by all. But when you enter your pregnancy you might have to be careful about what goes into the system, chickpeas being one of them. From the first trimester to the third being conscious about your diet is an essential step to consider.

But that does not mean that chickpeas are a complete no-no. There are more benefits than drawbacks that make it a good choice for any pregnant woman. Read on to explore both the benefits and the side effects.

Are Chickpeas Safe during Pregnancy?

Chickpeas are regarded as one of the safest food items during pregnancy. The Only thing one needs to remember is to cook chickpeas properly till it softens properly. And, another thing is to always eat chickpeas in adequate quantities. Owing to the high nutritious value, chickpeas provide proteins, minerals, and required folic acid levels.

Chickpea Benefits for Pregnant Women

Chickpeas can benefit both the foetus and the mother in numerous ways. Read on to find how.

1. Averting the Neural Tube Defects

Studies suggest that chickpeas are rich in folate or aptly known as the folic acid. The presence of this acid in the body has proved to be a boon as it helps in averting neural tube defects.

Research is evidence of the fact that folic acid present in chickpeas has avoided neural defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Usually witnessed in the first month of your pregnancy, these neural defects may not take much time to influence your health. So the next time you wonder, is besan safe during pregnancy? Remember the high levels of folate that are actively working to keep the foetus healthy.

2. Prevention of Anemia

Anemia is a condition in humans where either the red blood count diminishes or the haemoglobin value witnesses a downfall. Thus, normal blood count and haemoglobin are desired.

Iron is one constituent that helps in generating red blood cells significantly. And, interesting the sumptuous chickpeas contain nearly 22% of iron in every 100 grams of chickpeas serving. Needless to say, the iron would consequently boost the red blood cells in the system thus no more feeling of exhaustion or nausea.


3. Great Source of Energy

Pregnancy is no play work. A woman feels all tired and exhausted during the crucial months of pregnancy. You will need the extra energy to carry that extra weight of your womb. But it is the intake of chickpeas that come to the rescue.

A whole serving of chickpeas contains proteins, iron, and even the required calorie levels. One can’t ignore the black chana benefits in pregnancy. The black chickpeas provide the required energy levels for bearing the challenges one may face during pregnancy.

4. Brain Development

Chickpeas comprise of choline, i.e. a micronutrient that aids in brain development and building healthy nerves. When you munch on your favourite chickpeas, you indirectly help the fetus in development of the brain and the spinal cord.

A hundred grams of serving of chickpeas contains 43 grams of chlorine. What could be better than that?

5. Overall Foetus Health

Chickpeas contain manganese that aids in developing bone strength and cartilage. This nutrient also aids in cell protection, and in the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates.

A woman needs about 2 mg of manganese in a day’s time. Women get about 1.69 mg of manganese from one cup of garbanzo beans, i.e. 164 grams.

Effects of Eating Chana during Pregnancy

There are some effects of eating chickpeas that you are ought to know. Some of which include:

  • Pregnant women are most conscious about their increasing weight. Eating chickpeas can help you keep obesity levels in control.
  • Chickpeas can lead to allergic reactions if you have a history of sensitivity to chanas.
  • Chickpeas can also lead to acidity in some women. But worry not, soaking the legumes overnight can help you do away with the acidic content.
  • Chickpeas may cause kidney stones or even gout due to the excessive uric acid discharged from its intake. Purine contained in chickpeas is the cause of generation of uric acid.
  • If you are suffering from diarrhoea, chickpeas should be avoided as it may worsen the situation
  • Consuming high fibre food such as chickpeas can help reduce constipation. But eating partially hard chickpeas can cause digestion problems you would want to avoid when pregnant.
  • Eating too much of anything is harmful. Same goes the case for chickpeas. Eating chickpeas on a regular basis can lead to stomach ache and discomforts while pregnant. Though the reason is not known, it is believed to be bloating or gas accumulation.
  • In some women who are allergic to soybeans, they may also become allergic to chickpeas. Avoid eating chickpeas for it may cause itching, nausea, or even an upset stomach.

How to Cook Chickpeas?


Here are some tips when preparing chickpeas. Important ones to know include:

  • To start with preparing a delicious chickpeas dish, you need to soak them in water overnight.
  • Prepare the dish in the morning by boiling the chana for about half an hour and sautéing it with spices.
  • If you are opting for canned chickpeas, you just need to open the can and start enjoying the meal. Though this form of boiled or roasted chana during pregnancy is not healthy to eat.
  • Once you boil the chickpeas be it Kabuli chana or the black chana; add salt, pepper, tomato, and coriander leaves. This makes for a great snack that relishes the taste buds.
  • Kabuli chana during pregnancy is a recommended diet option. You could roast Kabuli chana with a bit of olive oil and spices in the oven. This could make for a crunchy snack to munch on.
  • Add boiled chickpeas to your daily intake of soups. You would surely love the flavour and the great taste that would satisfy your hunger cravings.
  • Add garbanzo beans to your one cup serving of yoghurt for a great tasting experience. You could also add cucumber or raisins for making for a flavorful treat

These were some benefits and side effects associated with chickpeas. Looking at both the side of the coin, remember to include chickpeas to your diet but in adequate quantities. Maintaining the good health of you and the fetus is all that matters.

Also Read:

Eating Sausage during Pregnancy
List of Healthy Snacks for Pregnant Woman
Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Bread?