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Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between chickpeas and pigeon peas, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the chickpeas vs pigeon peas comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 19, 2023.

Chickpeas and pigeon peas belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

This article will thoroughly compare chickpeas and pigeon peas and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


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.

Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) are a legume widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

They are a staple food in many countries, including India, Africa, and South America.

Pigeon peas are known for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their rich flavor and versatility in cooking.

Pigeon peas can be used in various dishes such as dals, curries, soups, and stews. They can also be used to make flour and snacks.

They peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are a good source of minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium.

They are also rich in antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation and protect against certain types of cancer.

Pigeon peas are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them a great option for a healthy diet.

Pigeon Peas is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas Nutrition

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

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

ChickpeasPigeon Peas
Energy378 kcal343 kcal
Carbs63 g62.78 g
Fiber12.2 g15 g
Protein20.5 g21.7 g
Fat6.04 g1.49 g
Saturated Fat0.603 g0.33 g

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas Calories

Most calories in raw 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 pigeon peas vs chickpeas for weight loss, pigeon peas is slightly lower in calories, with 343 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of chickpeas.

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

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas Protein

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

Pigeon Peas offers around 6% more protein than chickpeas.

Pigeon Peas has 21.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while chickpeas have 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas 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 chickpeas and pigeon peas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 0% higher in chickpeas than in pigeon peas. They have 63 grams per 100 grams, compared to 62.8 grams in pigeon peas.

There’s less sugar in pigeon peas than in chickpeas, 100% precisely.

One handful of pigeon peas (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 chickpeas and pigeon peas.

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

With 4.2 grams of fiber per portion, pigeon peas is a better source of fiber than chickpeas which offers 3.4 grams per portion.

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas Fats

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

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

Total fat in chickpeas and pigeon peas:

  • Chickpeas: 6 grams per 100 grams
  • Pigeon Peas: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pigeon peas is 50% lower in saturated fats.

Pigeon Peas and chickpeas contain 0.3 grams and 0.6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of chickpeas and pigeon peas.

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

Chickpeas have a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and vitamin B3 (Niacin).

However, pigeon peas has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Chickpeas and pigeon peas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

ChickpeasPigeon Peas
Vitamin A67 IU28 IU
Vitamin C4 mg0
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.477 mg0.643 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.212 mg0.187 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.54 mg2.965 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.59 mg1.266 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.535 mg0.283 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)557 µg456 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.82 mg0
Vitamin K9 µg0

Chickpeas vs Pigeon Peas 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 chickpeas and pigeon peas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Chickpeas are a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium than pigeon peas.

On the other hand, pigeon peas is a higher amount of fluoride, manganese, and sodium.

Chickpeas and pigeon peas contain the same amount of zinc.

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

ChickpeasPigeon Peas
Calcium57 mg130 mg
Copper0.656 mg1.057 mg
Fluoride2.2 µg0
Iron4.31 mg5.23 mg
Magnesium79 mg183 mg
Manganese21.3 mg1.791 mg
Phosphorus252 mg367 mg
Potassium718 mg1392 mg
Selenium08.2 µg
Sodium24 mg17 mg
Zinc2.76 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

Chickpeas and pigeon peas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

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

Antioxidants found in beans 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 are 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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