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The same amino acid in chickpea that causes serotonin release is what pharmacology uses to produce the popular antidepressant Prozac.
Chickpeas, in addition to freeing us from cholesterol, produce serotonin, the hormone of happiness, the same as in antidepressants.
The consumption of chickpeas, in the Middle East cooked as a popular stew called ‘humus’, produces a good feeling and even happiness to those who eat it, according to a study by Israeli researchers.
Produces serotonin, the hormone of happiness
Consumers cannot explain the state of well-being caused by a plate of 'humus' washed down with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika.
But now it is known why, archaeologist Abi Gofer, who participated in the research along with three other scientists, told EFE.
The cause of this sensation is that it contains an amino acid known as tryptophen that, in good quantity, produces serotonin, a beneficial substance.
A plate of ‘humus’ fully satisfies the appetite and helps us sleep.
The researcher added that, in the case of women, "it contributes to ovulation and to get pregnant more quickly."
Chickpea, a land product that generates billions of dollars in the countries where it is consumed, "is comparable to wheat" for its nutritional importance, with a place in history "that goes back 10,000 years."
The team of researchers included Dr. Zohar Kerem, a food expert; the botanist Simja Lev Idón and the head of the genetics course at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shájal Abo.
Scientists concluded that cultivated chickpeas, unlike wild ones, contain more serotonin. The same as antidepressants. The producers who chose and cultivate the best-known species did not do so by mere chance, although they did not understand scientifically why its ingestion produced well-being and a feeling of calm.
The same amino acid in chickpea that causes serotonin release is used by modern pharmacology to produce the popular antidepressant Prozac.
In general, Israelis and Arabs tend to eat ‘humus’ daily accompanied by pickles and spread it on pita bread, without crumbs, along with a pasta prepared with sesame seeds, ‘tejiniya’.
Professor Gofer commented that the market price and sales of chickpeas could multiply by billions of dollars if they were enriched by means of modern plant genetics.
Among the great consumers of chickpeas, in addition to the peoples of the Middle East, are India and Australia.