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Brown rice vs Chickpeas: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between brown rice and chickpeas, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the brown rice vs chickpeas comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on February 16, 2023.

Although brown rice and chickpeas belong to different food groups, while brown rice 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 brown rice 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 brown rice and chickpeas compare specifically.

Brown rice

Brown rice (Oryza sativa) is a whole-grain rice that is minimally processed, retaining its nutrient-rich bran and germ layers.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is particularly high in vitamins B3, B1, B6, and B9 and minerals like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. The high fiber content of brown rice has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels.

Brown rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads, sushi, and other dishes. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Brown rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Brown rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.


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.

Brown rice 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 brown rice vs chickpeas.

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

Brown riceChickpeas
Energy362 kcal378 kcal
Carbs76.2 g63 g
Sugar0 g10.7 g
Fiber3.4 g12.2 g
Protein7.5 g20.5 g
Fat2.68 g6.04 g
Saturated Fat0.536 g0.603 g

Brown rice 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 brown rice vs chickpeas for weight loss, brown rice is slightly lower in calories, with 362 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of chickpeas.

However, both brown rice 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.

Brown rice vs Chickpeas Protein

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

Chickpeas offer around 63% more protein than brown rice.

Chickpeas have 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while brown rice has 7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Brown rice 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 brown rice and chickpeas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 17% higher in brown rice than in chickpeas. It have 76.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63 grams in chickpeas.

There’s less sugar in brown rice than in chickpeas, 100% precisely.

One handful of brown rice (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of chickpeas contains 3 grams.

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

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

With 3.4 grams of fiber per portion, chickpeas are a better source of fiber than brown rice which offer 1 grams per portion.

Brown rice vs Chickpeas Fats

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

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

Total fat in brown rice and chickpeas:

  • Brown rice: 2.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Chickpeas: 6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, brown rice is 17% lower in saturated fats.

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

Brown rice vs Chickpeas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of brown rice and chickpeas.

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

Brown rice has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, chickpeas have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin).

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

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

Brown riceChickpeas
Vitamin A067 IU
Vitamin C04 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.413 mg0.477 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.043 mg0.212 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.31 mg1.54 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.49 mg1.59 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.509 mg0.535 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg557 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.82 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg9 µg

Brown rice 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 brown rice and chickpeas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

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

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

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

Brown riceChickpeas
Calcium33 mg57 mg
Copper0.277 mg0.656 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron1.8 mg4.31 mg
Magnesium143 mg79 mg
Manganese3.74 mg21.3 mg
Phosphorus264 mg252 mg
Potassium268 mg718 mg
Selenium2.7 µg0
Sodium4 mg24 mg
Zinc2.02 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

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

Both brown rice 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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