Home > Blog

Are Garbanzo Beans a Secret Weapon Against Osteoporosis?

By Skye Sherman  •   March 20, 2023
•    Medically Reviewed By Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Apr 17, 2023

Photo Credit: by Markus Winkler, Pexels.com
Photo Credit: by Markus Winkler, Pexels.com

Anyone who has osteoporosis can tell you that it’s not a disease you want to have. This bone degenerative condition can severely affect your quality of life. If there’s anything you can do to help prevent, ward off, or find relief from osteoporosis, it’s worth exploring.

Everyone knows about the link between milk, calcium, and bone health. Many people drink milk on a daily basis to keep their bones strong. But did you know that for a good bone health diet, you might want to add one tiny ingredient to your soups, salads, and side plates?

Yes, believe it or not, the legume family is linked to the health of your bones. Did you know that the humble chickpea might be a secret weapon against osteoporosis? Legumes have a lot of health benefits, but one you might not know about or expect is the fact that garbanzo beans are linked to bone health and high calcium levels.

Bone health is important because it’s one of thebody parts that affect every other body part and can really determine your overall quality of life and level of independence! Read on to learn more about the bone building benefits of garbanzo beans.

The basics of osteoporosis

First things first: what exactly is osteoporosis? To understand osteoporosis, you first need to understand a surprising fact about bones.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone.” While most people don’t think of their bones as living, growing tissue, it’s true!

However, if this process is disrupted or prevented, there are diseases of the bone that can make them not as strong. This is where osteoporosis comes into play.

The Mayo Clinic explains, “Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine.”

Anyone can be afflicted with osteoporosis, no matter if they are men or women or what race they are. It can even affect young people. However, the group at highest risk are older women who are past menopause, especially if they are white or Asian.

The good news is that there are a number of helpful ways to prevent the loss or weakening of bone. These include certain medications as well as a healthy, nourishing diet and weight-bearing exercises.

The link between garbanzo beans and bone health: can legumes prevent osteoporosis?

Legumes might be doing more for you than you think. You might not expect the power of the chickpea to improve the strength of your bones, but it’s true. It turns out that garbanzo beans are full of a number of nutrients, and cooked garbanzo beans contain the highest calcium levels. They are especially rich in fiber and protein, two vital nutrients to maintaining a healthy and thriving life.

According to Everything Zoomer, chick peas are one of the best foods for better bone health:

“You may know these legumes by their fun-to-say Spanish name, garbanzo beans. They’ve been eaten for thousands of years in many parts of the world. Chickpeas are high in protein, but they also have much more to offer your skeleton, including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Use canned chickpeas – or soak dried chickpeas for a few hours and drain the liquid before cooking with them – to reduce the phytates, a substance in chickpeas that can hinder your absorption of calcium. Chickpeas can reduce cholesterol, prevent blood sugar spikes, and help control overeating by making you feel full.”

Who knew chickpeas could do so much for you, but it doesn’t end there.

Medical News Today reports, “The iron, calcium, and other nutrients in chickpeas can all contribute to healthy bone structure and strength. Legumes such as chickpeas can play a role in the diet of people who want to prevent osteoporosis.”

In other words, garbanzo beans have the power to help ward off osteoporosis by providing some of the key nutrients and minerals that build and maintain strong bones. They’re a great source of calcium, fiber, and protein, and should be part of a balanced diet for bone health.

Other treatment options for osteoporosis

While a healthy diet rich in legumes can be an important lifestyle choice, those who have osteoporosis might require medication, as recommended by their doctor. Two of the most common osteoporosis medications are Evista and Actonel.https://www.canadianpharmacyking.com/Drug/Evista

The Cleveland Clinic explains, “Osteoporosis weakens bones, making them more susceptible to sudden and unexpected fractures. The disease often progresses without any symptoms or pain, and is not found until bones fracture. You can take steps to prevent this disease, and treatments do exist.”

Some of these treatment options include lifestyle changes such as making different exercise and diet choices to support bone health. Incorporating weight-bearing, resistance, and balance exercises is important to boost bone health. In addition, supplementation can become an important part of your daily routine to ensure you are getting plenty of whatever vitamins and minerals you may be lacking.

However, exercise and supplementation are often important preventative measures. Once you receive an osteoporosis diagnosis, it might be too late to prevent it entirely, and the potential next steps would be to go on prescription medications.

Osteoporosis medications are very common and can include weekly or monthly pills or intravenous infusions. The types of medications can vary from hormone and hormone-related therapy to bisphosphonates (antiresorptive drugs), biologics, and Anabolic agents (which help build bone).

Recipe: Chickpea Power Hummus

While you can add chickpeas to almost any recipe, such as a soup or salad, as a tasty and nutritious topper, this recipe really lets the chick pea shine.

Want a delicious way to eat a hearty serving of chickpeas? Make your own hummus! While most people buy hummus from the grocery store, it’s very easy to make yourself, and even more delicious.


● 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)

● 2 tablespoons olive oil

● 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (drained with liquid reserved)

● 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

● Preferred add-in such as diced red pepper and spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne

● Salt and pepper to taste


1. Lightly toast the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes).

2. Place garbanzo beans in a food processor with approximately 1 teaspoon reserved liquid (you can also use a blender). Keep pulsing and blending until the consistency reaches your preferred level of smooth.

3. Mix in the garlic, sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and any other add-ins.

4. Continue to blend to desired consistency, adding in liquid as needed.

5. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.

6. Top with feta, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for an extra delicious twist!


The purpose of the above content is to raise awareness only and does not advocate treatment or diagnosis. This information should not be substituted for your physician's consultation and it should not indicate that use of the drug is safe and suitable for you or your (pet). Seek professional medical advice and treatment if you have any questions or concerns.