Leveraging traditional crops for better nutrition and health - The case of chickpea

Shimrit Bar-El Dadon, Shahal Abbo, Ram Reifen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Adequate nutrition in early life is a prerequisite for human capital formation and economic development. Although poor feeding practices is a problem predominantly thought to exist in low-income and middle income countries, malnutrition is rapidly rising among developed nations as well. In this context, and in light of scarcity of protein sources, utilization of crops-such as chickpea-as a source of micro and macro nutrients is mandatory in the long route to nutritional improvement. Scope and approach In this review, we outline interesting features of the chickpea crop, in terms of its nutritional value and agronomic potential that may help combat several health issues in both Western countries as well as in many low income sectors in developing countries. Key Findings and Conclusions: On the global scale, chickpea consumption is steadily increasing in recent years. In developing countries, chickpea brings a variety of taste and texture to the cereal-based diet, as well as high-quality protein, fiber, carbohydrates and minerals, thereby ensuring a balanced diet and improving the nutritional status of the population. In developed countries, chickpea may be an ultimate source of protein for the increasing vegetarian/vegan populations. On top of that, allergenicity issues, content of phytoestrogens and more, are negligible in chickpea. For all these reasons, this crop should be considered as an outstanding source of protein, the ultimate alternative to soybeans, as well as the next health-food for human consumption.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
  • Legumes allergy
  • Malnutrition
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Protein source

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