Legumes are a chief source of sustainable, inexpensive protein, also abundant in complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. India is the largest global producer (25%) of legumes. Among these legumes, chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) accounts for 40% of India's pulse production and is considered a better-quality protein source than other pulses. India is also the largest consumer (76%) of the total chickpea produced globally. Besides their nutritional benefits, chickpea is also being used for its nutraceutical and prebiotic potential. Recent studies have also suggested their role in alleviating chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, obesity and even cancer. Chickpea contains several bioactive compounds that are now being researched for their health benefits in human beings. Like other pulses, chickpea also has some antinutritional factors that can be annihilated by different processing and cooking methods. This literature review seeks to evaluate the research done on the nutritional, antinutritional, nutraceutical, prebiotic and health benefits of chickpea.
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Vol. 73 • No. 4