Hummus is an Egyptian and Levantine dip or spread made from chickpeas or some other beans – cooked, mashed, and blended with olive oil, tahini (a sesame seed paste), lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
“Hummus” is an Arabic term that means “chickpeas”, the full Arabic name of the prepared dip is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna that means “chickpeas with tahini”. 1
Today, hummus is a popular food through the Middle East (together with Turkey), North Africa (together with Morocco), and in Middle Eastern cuisines around the world. It can be found in many grocery stores in America and Europe. The potential health benefits of hummus are quite impressive!
Hummus is one of the healthiest options for dips – It provides you with protein and numerous essential vitamins and minerals, and even though it can be high in fat – it is generally heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
The main ingredient in hummus – chickpeas gives you protein, fiber, and good-for-you carbs 2 . Like other members of the legume family, chickpeas regularly top lists of the world’s healthiest foods and are responsible for the remarkable health benefits of hummus.
Consuming more plant foods is good for you. Individuals who make that a habit are less likely to get diseases. Undeniably, lots of things affect your health – there is no miracle food — but some hummus wouldn’t hurt.
Olive oil and garlic are two of the most studied and best-known ingredients. They’re both great parts of the popular Mediterranean Diet, which is one of the best diets according to scientists 3 . These zesty seasonings give hummus its unique flavor.
Health Benefits of Hummus
The healthy ingredients used in hummus make it a perfect choice to include in your meals for these great reasons. Here are the potential hummus benefits:
- Reduces Blood Clots
Eating hummus could lead to a reduction in blood clots. Lentils, which consist of chickpeas, are vitamin K- and E-rich foods that have blood thinning possessions and naturally help decrease the risk of blood clots. Vitamin K could prevent certain blood clotting or bleeding issues and also reverse the effect of too much warfarin, which is a blood thinning drug, to prevent blood clotting.
A 2012 research published in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica found 2 different kinds of chickpeas are both effective at decreasing inflammation markers 4 .
- Reduces Blood Sugar
Hummus is a complex carb which provides time released energy that wouldn’t lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. It’s full of protein which fills you up. Digesting and utilizing the glucose found in all starches and beans takes a while that keeps blood sugar levels stable before they start to drop again.
A 2012 research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found people with diabetes who consumed at least 1 cup of legumes for 3 months improved their glucose tolerance 5 . This was associated with a reduction in the risk for coronary heart disease. Eating legumes, like chickpeas, are highly recommended for diabetics. 6
- Alleviates Anemia
Hummus mainly consists of chickpeas that are a great vegetable-based source of iron. It also means 1 cup offers up to 25% of the recommended daily value. Additionally, chickpeas contain vitamin C, which helps in the absorption of plant-based iron – and this is how eating chickpeas can benefit people with anemia. 7
The content of iron in chickpeas, as well as tahini, assist deliver oxygen to red blood cells. Besides chickpeas; lentils, peas, red, white, and baked beans, and soybeans are brilliant sources of iron.
- Reduces Cancer Risk
Hummus contains 36% of the recommended intake of folate in 1 cup. Nutrients rich in folate are linked to a lower risk of some types of cancer as colorectal cancers, and they also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A 2007 research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found folate can play a double role in cancer development 8 9 . It can provide protection early in carcinogenesis and people with a low folate status. But, it can also promote carcinogenesis if it is administered later and possibly at high consumptions. Folate in moderation could be beneficial, however, not at extremely high levels.
- Supports Weight Loss
Eating hummus moderately could be the superfood for a weight loss program. Chickpeas are an incredible source of fiber that not just helps build a healthy digestive system, though, also makes you feel satisfied and full.
A 2014 research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found individuals who snack on hummus contain a 53% lesser chance of being fat and are 51% less likely to have high blood sugar than people who do not eat hummus. Furthermore, their waist size was found to be over 2 inches smaller on average. 10
- Lowers Cholesterol
The daily intake of hummus could help lower bad cholesterol. Chickpeas contain powerful antioxidants, called isoflavones that are known to lower cholesterol.
A 2008 research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found individuals aged between 30-70 that weren’t in the best health, benefited from consuming chickpeas each day for 3 years 12 . This group ate less fat and had a little reduction in cholesterol levels compared to the group who consumed wheat products like cereal and bread for their daily intake of fiber.
Ideally, hummus alone contains a reasonable carbohydrate-to-protein ratio that could help stabilize insulin levels. It’s elevated insulin which causes the liver to produce cholesterol. Though, once you put hummus on a piece of bread – all bets are off since the carbs in the bread will considerably stimulate insulin production due to the high-glycemic response of bread.
Check out: TLC Diet: Eating Plan to Lower Cholesterol and Lose Weight
Hummus Nutrition Facts
Benefits of hummus are really great due to its content of many essential vitamins and minerals. A 100 gram serving of hummus is rich with the following nutrients 13 :
- Fiber 5g
- Protein 5g
- Carbs 20g
- Fat 9g
- Vitamin B6 20% RDA
- Vitamin C 13% RDA
- Folate 15% RDA
- Zinc 10% RDA
- Iron 10% RDA
- Manganese 28% RDA
- Phosphorus 11% RDA
There is plenty of nutrition-packed goodness in each scoop of this meal. There are also many calories: around 408 per cup.
Therefore, like anything else, you should watch your serving size. You could get too much of a great thing.
Avoid an Extra Oil Spill
If you order hummus in a restaurant, it’s possible to be garnished with extra olive oil that actually adds another 125 calories per tbsp. A well-prepared hummus is rich and pleasant enough to stand on its own. Therefore, ask the server to hold the slick stuff.
There are many benefits of hummus on our health due to its great content of various essential nutrients. Having hummus as part of your daily diet will help treat certain types of cancer, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, facilities your weight loss management, and keep you at optimal health.
Hummus is not only for dipping. It makes a good sandwich spread, as well. Try it in place of mayonnaise. You’ll get more fiber and protein for half the calories you would get from mayo. Hummus adds only one gram of fat to your lunch box, compared to five grams for regular mayonnaise.
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