Beans are a great source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and plant based protein. However, they do get a bad rap because people may experience discomfort such as bloating or excess gas. This happens because chickpeas inherently have sugars called oligosacchrides (specifically - stachyose, ciceritol, raffinose and verbascose) that we can't digest in our small intestine. What ends up happening is our gut bacteria breaks down these sugars by fermenting them and they in turn get released as gas. If you didn't know now you know why you fart when you eat beans.
Chickpeas have anti nutrition factors (ANFs) that affect your digestion. To decrease or eliminate these ANFs you should soak and sprout your chickpeas. This takes time to prepare, but the benefits and taste are worth it.
To sprout your own chickpeas soak them overnight, drain the chickpeas the next day, and place them on a sheet tray. Place a damp paper towel over the chickpeas and set aside on your kitchen counter. The next day rinse the chickpeas and place them back on the sheet tray with a damp towel. You should do this twice a day for about 3 days or until you are satisfied with the length of the sprouts.
The Benefits of Sprouting Chickpeas:
1) degrades counterproductive anti-nutrients like phytic acid, which hinders the absorption of certain minerals, and triggers beneficial enzymatic activity
2) sprouts have fewer calories than the legumes because some of the starches get consumed during germination where the outer layer is split open
3) sprouts are more alkalizing to the body
4) easier to digest because complex sugars are broken down
5) increase in protein by about 20% and vitamins A & C by as much as 500%
Donna M Winham and Andrea M Hutchins: Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies. Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:128. 10.1186/1475-2891-10-128.