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Barley vs Chickpeas: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between barley and chickpeas, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the barley vs chickpeas comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on February 23, 2023.

Although barley and chickpeas belong to different food groups, while barley belong is a grain, and chickpeas belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares barley and chickpeas, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how barley and chickpeas compare specifically.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a cereal grain widely grown in many parts of the world and has been a staple food for thousands of years. It is closely related to wheat and oats.

Barley is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Barley is commonly used in brewing beer, animal feed, and as a food grain. It can be used in soups, stews, and as a side dish, either whole or ground into flour. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Barley is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Barley is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.


Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content and their versatility in cooking.

Chickpeas can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including hummus, falafel, and curry, and can also be ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and cookies.

Chickpea pasta is also available.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, chickpeas have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They are a good source of antioxidants, and have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Chickpeas are also a good source of several important minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium, all important nutrients for vegans.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.

Barley vs Chickpeas Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing barley vs chickpeas.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of barley and chickpeas and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Energy354 kcal378 kcal
Carbs73.5 g63 g
Sugar0.8 g10.7 g
Fiber17.3 g12.2 g
Protein12.5 g20.5 g
Fat2.3 g6.04 g
Saturated Fat0.482 g0.603 g

Barley vs Chickpeas Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing barley vs chickpeas for weight loss, barley is slightly lower in calories, with 354 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of chickpeas.

However, both barley and chickpeas can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Barley vs Chickpeas Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including barley and chickpeas, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Chickpeas offer around 39% more protein than barley.

Chickpeas have 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley has 12.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley vs Chickpeas Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in barley and chickpeas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 14% higher in barley than in chickpeas. It have 73.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63 grams in chickpeas.

There’s less sugar in barley than in chickpeas, 93% precisely.

One handful of barley (28 grams) contains 0.2 grams of sugar, while the same amount of chickpeas contains 3 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley and chickpeas.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 4.8 grams of fiber per portion, barley is a better source of fiber than chickpeas which barley offers 3.4 grams per portion.

Barley vs Chickpeas Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, barley and chickpeas are low in fat.

Fats in barley and chickpeas are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in barley and chickpeas:

  • Barley: 2.3 grams per 100 grams
  • Chickpeas: 6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, barley is 17% lower in saturated fats.

Barley and chickpeas contain 0.5 grams and 0.6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Barley vs Chickpeas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley and chickpeas.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Barley has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, chickpeas have a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Barley and chickpeas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley and chickpeas contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A22 IU67 IU
Vitamin C04 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.646 mg0.477 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.285 mg0.212 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.6 mg1.54 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.282 mg1.59 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.318 mg0.535 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)19 µg557 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.82 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg9 µg

Barley vs Chickpeas Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the barley and chickpeas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, potassium, and sodium than chickpeas.

On the other hand, chickpeas are a higher amount of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

Check out the table below to learn how barley and chickpeas compare when it comes to mineral content.

Calcium33 mg57 mg
Copper0.498 mg0.656 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron3.6 mg4.31 mg
Magnesium133 mg79 mg
Manganese1.94 mg21.3 mg
Phosphorus264 mg252 mg
Potassium452 mg718 mg
Selenium37.7 µg0
Sodium12 mg24 mg
Zinc2.77 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

Barley and chickpeas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both barley and chickpeas are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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