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Chickpea vs Soybean - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Chickpea
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Soybean

Introduction

Soybean and chickpea are two of the most used and healthiest legumes. But which one to choose if the question concerns nutrition and health impact? In this article, we will compare soybean and chickpea nutritional aspects. Soybean has an undesirable taste, usually, it is bitter, astringent, and rough. Chickpea has a nutty flavor and creamy taste.

Varieties

The soybean is an erect branching plant that belongs to the Glycine family. Soybean originates in Northern China. The plant can reach more than 2 meters in height. Seeds can be yellow, green, brown, and black. There are different soybean types of which the most common types are Agate Soybean, Aoyu Soybean, and Butterbean Soybean. Chickpea belongs to the Fabaceae family and is considered one of the earliest cultivated legumes in the Middle East. The most common types are Desi Chickpea and Amethyst Chickpea.

Uses

Soybean is largely used in making soy oil and for the animal feed industry. In culinary, soybean is used in making sauce, soy milk, tofu, soy flour, and so on. Overall, in southern Europe and Latin America chickpeas are the most used ingredients in soups and salads. The most known dishes are falafel, rancho, cecina, etc.

Nutrition

Soybean and chickpea are filled with essential nutrients.  At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition infographic, which will help you to understand the differences in the nutrition of these legumes.

Micronutrients

Soybean is richer in protein, fats, and contains fewer sugars. On the other hand, chickpea contains more fiber and carbs than soybean. Both legumes contain no cholesterol.

Minerals

Soybean is richer in minerals than chickpeas. It has 2 times more magnesium, 2 times more iron, and 3 times more calcium than a chickpea. The amounts of zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and copper are also higher in this legume. Moreover, soybean has a lower sodium level than a chickpea. 

Vitamins

Soybean and chickpea are packed with different vitamins in different amounts. Soybean is a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B1. Also, the amounts of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin K are 4 times higher in soybean. On the other hand, chickpea has more Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, Folate, and Vitamin B6 than soybean. Both contain equal levels of Vitamin E and Vitamin B3 and have no Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Calories

Overall, soybeans have more calories than chickpeas. It has 446 calories per 100 g, while chickpea has 378 calories per 100 g

Glycemic Index

Soybean is lower in the glycemic index than a chickpea. It has a GI equal to 14, whereas a GI of chickpea is equal to 36. Both are considered low glycemic index food [1].

Acidity

On average, soybean has a pH equal to 4.7 (alkaline), whereas chickpea has a pH equal to 1.5 (acidic). This means that chickpeas may have a higher risk for reflux symptoms.

Health Benefits

Cholesterol level

Based on the 38 studies, soy intake of 47 grams per day was linked to a 9.3% decrease in total cholesterol and a 13% decrease in LDL cholesterol. Moreover, soybean is a great source of fiber that has cholesterol-lowering effects [2]. On the other hand, chickpea contains soluble fiber, which may help to reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart diseases [3].

Diabetes

Soybean has compounds that can be extremely beneficial for diabetics. According to the study, soybean is rich in bioactive compounds known as isoflavones. These compounds are associated with lowering the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. It may help to improve tolerance for blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity [4]. 

Chickpeas, on the other hand, contain good amounts of protein and fiber, which may help to prevent blood sugar levels from rising after you eat. This is an important factor in diabetes management [5].  

Weight Loss

Overall, legumes are rich in fiber and protein, compounds that have lowering effects on appetite.
According to one study, people who consumed chickpeas daily were half less likely to be obese, also they had a lower body mass index [6].

Soybeans, in turn, contain isoflavones and soy fiber, which may reduce body weight and fat by lowering triglycerides and cholesterol. However, more human studies are needed [7]. 

Cancer

The high amounts of protein and antioxidants in soybean can work great against cancer and prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. According to the study, soybean may help breast cancer patients to recuperate well. Also, this legume is a great source of dietary fiber, which may help lower the risk of colon cancer [8]. 

Eating chickpeas can promote the production of butyrate, which can potentially reduce inflammation in the colon cells and by that reduce the risk of colon cancer. Chickpeas besides butyrate, have other compounds, such as lycopene and saponins which can play an against-cancer role in the body [9]. 

Digestion Benefits

Both soybean and chickpea contain soluble fiber which may help increase the number of healthy bacteria in your gut and slow down the growth of unhealthy bacteria. This can help to reduce the risk of some digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer [10]. 

Research suggests, 104 grams daily intake of chickpea may improve bowel function, including softer stool consistency [11]. 

Bone Health

Legumes contain calcium, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients which have beneficial effects on bone health management. Some research suggests that daily intakes of 40–110 mg of soy isoflavones can improve markers of bone health in menopausal women. Nevertheless, more research is needed [12].

Side Effect

Pregnancy

Soybeans may be possibly unsafe if used in large amounts when pregnant. Higher doses during pregnancy can harm the development of the baby.  Besides, soy milk can be unsafe when used as an alternative to cow's milk in children who are allergic to cow's milk [13].

Allergy

Chickpea can cause an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that ranges from rhinitis to anaphylaxis. The symptoms commonly include redness, rashes, hives, and inflammation. Allergy to soybeans is a common food allergy. Symptoms commonly include hives or itching in and around the mouth [14].

Summary

Soybeans are richer in minerals and vitamins than chickpeas. It contains 4 times more Vitamin B2 and Vitamin K, also 3 times more calcium than a chickpea. Chickpea, on the other hand, contains more Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, fiber, and carbs than soybean.

References

  1. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/suppl/2008/09/18/dc08-1239.DC1/TableA1_1.pdf
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7596371/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17191025/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531709002450
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22916806/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188421/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838825/
  8. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/125/suppl_3/733S/4774194
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928447/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19945492/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27465911/
  13. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1549-8719.2011.00088.x
  14. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12016-012-8310-6
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 17, 2021

Infographic

Chickpea vs Soybean infographic
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Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Iron +264.3%
Contains more Calcium +386%
Contains more Potassium +150.3%
Contains more Magnesium +254.4%
Contains more Copper +152.7%
Contains more Zinc +77.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +179.4%
Contains less Sodium -91.7%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 162% 18% 64% 57% 219% 76% 108% 4%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 589% 84% 159% 200% 553% 134% 302% 1%
Contains more Iron +264.3%
Contains more Calcium +386%
Contains more Potassium +150.3%
Contains more Magnesium +254.4%
Contains more Copper +152.7%
Contains more Zinc +77.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +179.4%
Contains less Sodium -91.7%

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +204.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +100.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +41.9%
Contains more Folate +48.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +50%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +83.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +310.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +422.2%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.85
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 1.623
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 14% 5% 17% 0% 120% 49% 29% 96% 124% 0% 23% 418%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 20% 2% 17% 0% 219% 201% 31% 48% 87% 0% 118% 282%
Contains more Vitamin A +204.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +100.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +41.9%
Contains more Folate +48.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +50%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +83.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +310.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +422.2%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.85
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 1.623

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
74
Chickpea
85
Soybean
Mineral Summary Score
88
Chickpea
252
Soybean

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
123%
Chickpea
219%
Soybean
Carbohydrates
63%
Chickpea
30%
Soybean
Fats
28%
Chickpea
92%
Soybean

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Chickpea Soybean
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Chickpea Soybean
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Soybean
Soybean is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.37g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Soybean
Soybean contains less Sodium (difference - 22mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Soybean
Soybean is lower in glycemic index (difference - 22)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Soybean
Soybean is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Chickpea
Chickpea is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.281g)
Which food is cheaper?
Chickpea
Chickpea is cheaper (difference - $2.4)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Chickpea Soybean Opinion
Calories 378 446 Soybean
Protein 20.47 36.49 Soybean
Fats 6.04 19.94 Soybean
Vitamin C 4 6 Soybean
Carbs 62.95 30.16 Chickpea
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 4.31 15.7 Soybean
Calcium 57 277 Soybean
Potassium 718 1797 Soybean
Magnesium 79 280 Soybean
Sugar 10.7 7.33 Soybean
Fiber 12.2 9.3 Chickpea
Copper 0.656 1.658 Soybean
Zinc 2.76 4.89 Soybean
Starch
Phosphorus 252 704 Soybean
Sodium 24 2 Soybean
Vitamin A 67 22 Chickpea
Vitamin E 0.82 0.85 Soybean
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.477 0.874 Soybean
Vitamin B2 0.212 0.87 Soybean
Vitamin B3 1.541 1.623 Soybean
Vitamin B5 1.588 0.793 Chickpea
Vitamin B6 0.535 0.377 Chickpea
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 9 47 Soybean
Folate 557 375 Chickpea
Trans Fat 0 0
Saturated Fat 0.603 2.884 Chickpea
Monounsaturated Fat 1.377 4.404 Soybean
Polyunsaturated fat 2.731 11.255 Soybean
Tryptophan 0.2 0.591 Soybean
Threonine 0.766 1.766 Soybean
Isoleucine 0.882 1.971 Soybean
Leucine 1.465 3.309 Soybean
Lysine 1.377 2.706 Soybean
Methionine 0.27 0.547 Soybean
Phenylalanine 1.103 2.122 Soybean
Valine 0.865 2.029 Soybean
Histidine 0.566 1.097 Soybean
Fructose

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Chickpea - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173756/nutrients
  2. Soybean - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174270/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.