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One Major Side Effect of Eating Chickpeas, Says Science

Your go-to snack could be causing some discomfort—here's how.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman
Chickpeas in a bowl

Not only do chickpeas taste great, but they're also highly versatile in both main meals and snacks. For example, you can mash them and make your own homemade hummus dip for veggie sticks, or season them with cumin and chili powder and roast them on a tray in the oven. Bottom line: chickpeas can be enjoyed in a number of ways—almost all of which are highly nutritious.

However, as is the case with just about any food (yes, even the healthiest ones!) there is one side effect you should be cognizant of, especially if you eat too much of the legume. So, what is the one major side effect of this nutritious food? Chickpeas can often cause bloating and gas, which is why it's key to know your limit.

Here's what you need to know about this side effect of eating chickpeas—including how much you should eat—and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Those who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may feel this side effect of chickpeas the most because this legume contains high amounts of saccharides (sugars) that are indigestible. According to the Cleveland Clinic, any carbohydrates (which include saccharides) that cannot be digested or absorbed properly are metabolized by bacteria in the intestine. This is what causes the body to produce excess gas and even discomfort in the abdomen.

The solution? Portion out your chickpeas!

If you've ever eaten a lot of chickpeas in one sitting, you've probably experienced this feeling firsthand. Not to mention, the legume is high in fiber, which is also an indigestible carbohydrate and causes bloating and gas if eaten in too high of quantities. However, if you limit yourself to about 1/4 cup of chickpeas per serving, and rinse them off before consuming them, you may not experience these symptoms at all.

Just remember, everyone's body is different, so be sure to test out what works best for you. You may be able to tolerate larger portions without any problems. For more, be sure to check out What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Hummus.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more