Hummus is a delicious, rich, and creamy dip originating from the Middle East It is primarily made up of chickpeas and sesame seeds along with other herbs, spices, and ingredients that give it a nice and unique flavor. Hummus can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as an ingredient for a whole new dish or on its own as a dip or spread.
You can buy hummus from the store, but if you want to get all the healthy goodness that it comes with, it’s always better to go for the homemade kind. Despite its delicately complex taste, hummus is actually surprisingly easy to make.
Basic hummus consists of only six ingredients: olive oil, tahini, chickpeas, garlic, sea salt, and lemon juice. As hummus rose to popularity outside its region of origin, many variations of this simple dip have been created. Flavored hummus is now one of the most popular dips in many places, and it is just as easy to make as the basic one.
Aside from adding a flavorful punch to make food taste better, or adding texture to excite your tastebuds more, hummus also provides tons of benefits that will improve your health. Here are 15 benefits of hummus, according to science, and delicious recipes that you can try.
1. Hummus is abundant in plant-based proteins
If you’re vegan or you’re following a plant-based diet, you should try to consume hummus regularly. The main ingredient for hummus —chickpeas— is an excellent source of plant-based protein.
One 100g serving of chickpeas contains 20.47 grams of protein. With this much protein in chickpeas, it’s no wonder, they can easily make you feel full after just a few handfuls. This keeps you from sneaking unhealthy snacks into your everyday diet which can help a lot if you’re trying to control your weight.
What’s more, the way hummus is eaten often allows for the consumption of what we can call “complete proteins.” Often, hummus is eaten with pita bread or other types of whole-grain which contain another type of protein. When consumed with the plant-based proteins found in chickpeas, that’s what is called complete proteins that contain all the essential amino acids needed to be converted and used for energy.
Chickpeas aren’t the only ingredients present in hummus that’s rich in protein. Tahini, a rich and creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds, is also rich in a protein called methionine. Just like the proteins in chickpeas, the methionine proteins can also form a complete protein that the body can use for energy when consumed with other protein-rich foods.
2. Hummus is rich in various vitamins and minerals
Because of the healthy ingredients included in the making of hummus, it is only natural that this delicious dip is loaded with vitamins in minerals. Again, if you want to get the full benefits, going for natural and homemade is the best way to go since it’s really the only way to keep away from preservatives and all that other stuff your body doesn’t need.
Chickpeas, the main ingredients in hummus, is loaded with iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Hummus also contains lemon juice which, as we all know, is a great source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants. Another ingredient, tahini, which is made of sesame seeds is loaded with copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Garlic, which adds flavor to hummus, is rich in antioxidants and it also has a ton of trace minerals along with a good number of vitamins loaded in it.
If you’re looking for a great way to get a good amount of vitamins and minerals incorporated into your daily diet, eating hummus with your daily meals might just be what you need to do.
3. Hummus can keep your bones at optimal health
Your bones are one of the most important parts of your body that you should really pay attention to and take care of because without bones, you won’t be able to do much or move around much at all. Aside from serving as the main framework that supports your body, your bones are responsible for a ton of other things as well. These things include, but are not limited to protecting your internal organs from injury, making it possible for you to be mobile in every way you can think of, producing blood cells, storing essential minerals, and more.
So now the question is: “how do you take care of your bones?” Well, making sure it gets the right amount of calcium is a start.
Calcium is the mineral that keeps your bones and teeth strong. In fact, 99% of the calcium that you consume goes to your bones and your teeth and this mineral alone makes up about 2% of your total body weight.
Blood clotting, cell signaling, nerve function, and muscle contraction — these are just some of the things that your body does and uses calcium for. The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is anywhere from 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams per day, depending on your age and gender
Without enough calcium in your diet, you could suffer from calcium deficiency which could lead to other diseases like osteoporosis and rickets, among many others. Be wary, though, because too much calcium in your diet could also be bad for your health. Consuming too much calcium can lead to kidney stones and constipation, especially when you get your calcium from supplements.
Now, where does hummus fit into all of this, you may be wondering. Well, sesame seeds, which is one of the ingredients in making tahini used in hummus, is an excellent source of calcium. You can get 1404 mg of calcium in one cup (144g) of sesame seeds alone. Chickpea, the main ingredient used in hummus, is also a rich source of calcium and is one of the top sources of calcium for many vegans.
4. Hummus can help lower cholesterol
Eating delicious foods is one of the pleasures that we get out of life, but it comes with a ton of risks and one of them is getting your cholesterol up to dangerously high levels.
In order to keep yourself healthy, you need to maintain a good and healthy level of cholesterol and if you’re the kind who likes foods that are too rich and indulgent, this may be a problem for you. Luckily, there are plenty of foods out there that can help you lower your cholesterol, and chickpeas which is the main ingredient used in hummus is one of those foods.
According to research, there is a group of foods called “pulses” which can help lower your cholesterol levels when consumed regularly. These foods include lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas, among others.
According to a study by Australian lecturer Jane Pitaway where two groups consumed the same amount of fiber for three years with the first group getting their fiber from daily consumption of chickpeas and the second group getting their fiber from wheat, cereal, and other wheat products, the group that consumed chickpeas was shown to have consumed less fat and had a reduction in cholesterol, too.
5. Hummus can help Reduce the risk of cancer
While it’s great that there are always new developments in the search for the cure for cancer, it’s unfortunate how many people succumb to this disease every year. There were 8.2 million cancer-related deaths recorded in 2012 alone and 14 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the same year. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide the numbers are predicted to rise up to 22 million in the next 20 years.
Knowing these and how difficult it is to deal with cancer, wouldn’t you want to do anything and everything to lower your risks of getting cancer?
We’ve already discussed so many health benefits coming from chickpeas, the main ingredient used in hummus, but did you know that one of the greatest benefits of consuming it is to help reduce the risk of cancer?
Foods that are rich in folate like those in the Pulses food group have been found to contain lignans and saponins which are substances that help fight cancer. They also contain starch that is not digested in the small intestine and this is used by good bacteria present in the colon to make fatty acids to protect the colon cells. Aside from that, chickpeas and other foods from the Pulses group also contain a ton of antioxidants.
6. Hummus is a great way to get started on the Mediterranean diet
There are plenty of diet plans out there that are designed and marketed to help you with a problem area or two in your health. There are those that are designed to help you lose weight and others that are curated to give you better cardiovascular health. There are also those that are meant to boost your energy levels so you can be more active and productive.
Most of the time, however, people are turned off by these diets because they’re either bland and boring or just too hard to follow religiously. So, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a diet that’s not only tasty and delicious but also actually good for your overall health?
That’s where the Mediterranean Diet comes in. Unlike most diets, this is something that tastes good, is easy to follow, and is not just great for one aspect of your health but for your overall wellness as well. In fact, the Mediterranean Diet has been shown to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease by 30% in a study conducted in 2013.
If you’re thinking of getting started on this diet but have no idea how to, consuming hummus regularly is a great way to do so. Some of the foods included in the Mediterranean Diet are beans, legumes, olive oil, and garlic, among others. These, as you know, are all included in the healthy goodness that is hummus.
7. Hummus can help you with your weight loss journey
Everyone wants to be fit and healthy and everyone wants to look good, but looking for food that’s healthy, delicious, and will help you lose weight is the ultimate challenge.
If you love the taste of hummus, though, you might be off to a good start. Hummus is one of the foods that can help you with your weight loss journey and that is because this tasty treat is loaded with a good amount of monounsaturated fats that can help reduce belly fat and promote weight loss.
Now, you may be confused as to how consuming fats make you lose weight. Most people think that, in order to lose weight, one should cut out fat from their diet. This is not true at all. Fat is essential in any diet. You just need to make sure that you are consuming the right kinds of fat and monounsaturated fat is one of those.
8. Hummus helps in dealing with anemia
With the kind of fast-paced lifestyle most people have nowadays, it’s no wonder a lot of people are getting sick and having weaker immune systems. Diseases that affect the immune system are some of the hardest to battle. Anemia, for example, is one of them. If left untreated, anemia could progress into something much worse.
Now, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself from being anemic. The first one, of course, is to keep a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet and consuming foods that will help boost your iron.
In hummus, there are two ingredients that are great sources of iron: chickpeas and tahini. These can help prevent iron deficiency, thus preventing anemia and alleviating it for those who already have it.
9. Hummus is a healthy and tasty alternative for a lot of unhealthy
Healthy foods aren’t always the best tasting ones out there which is why some people find it difficult to jump on the bandwagon and join health buffs in their quest for a healthier lifestyle and a better body that’s physically fit.
Mayonnaise, ranch, sour cream, creamy salad dressings — these are just a few of the multitude of things that we add to food to make them even more tasty and delicious. The thing about these, though, is that they’re made from ingredients that aren’t very good for you.
If you’re trying to become more healthy and are looking for ways to make your meals more appetizing without loading them up with unnecessary fats and calories, why not try substituting your unhealthy picks with hummus?
Hummus can add just as much zing and flavor to your food without making you feel guilty afterward. You can use it to replace your favorite sandwich spread or use it as an alternative to any recipe that calls for any kind of cream. You can dip your bread, crackers, and chips into it, too, instead of buying the bottled kind.
If you’re worried that you’d get sick of the taste of hummus if you replace everything with it, don’t worry. You can always add fun and unique flavors to your hummus to change things up a bit and excite and entice your taste buds again every once in a while.
10. Hummus helps reduce blood sugar
Having diabetes is tough. Being restricted from eating certain kinds of food, especially the ones you grew up loving, can be a little disappointing and maybe a little depressing at times. You’d think that the only foods that are not allowed from a diabetic’s diet are sweet and sugary ones, but there are actually more than just those.
If you’re a diabetic who’s looking for a way to make food taste better or if you’re looking for something new to eat with your snacks, why not try eating hummus or at least incorporating hummus in your diet. Traditional hummus is savory and it is great for dipping and cooking. If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth without putting your life at risk, though, you can always make your own hummus from scratch and throw in some beets to sweeten it up a little bit.
What makes hummus great for diabetics is that it is a complex carbohydrate which means that it supplied you with time-released energy so your blood sugar levels won’t spike. In fact, one study conducted in 2012 showed people who had a cup of legumes incorporated into their low glycemic index diet consistently for three months have improved glucose tolerance.
This is because hummus is rich in protein that can easily fill you up, thus allowing your system to digest, process, and utilize all the glucose found in the beans and making sure that your blood sugar levels are stable before they get the chance to drop again.
11. Hummus helps you win your battle against allergies
One of the things that take the joy out of receiving food items for gifts or joining a fun food-filled activity like a potluck party or a picnic is having to be restricted from tasting the delicious food because you have allergies.
Allergies are indeed a pain to deal with, but more so when you have kids. You’ve seen and read about it before: schools banning kids from bringing in certain types of food (even if it’s healthy) because it might trigger an allergic reaction from them or the other kids. As a parent, you might be enraged to find the only healthy thing that your kid likes on that list. So, what can you pack for your kid’s school lunches that won’t trigger an allergic reaction of any sort? Hummus, that’s what.
Of course, the ingredients in hummus might still be a trigger for some. However, it does not contain any of the top 10 food allergens which means that unless you have allergies that are not included in the top 10 then you’re good to go. Hummus is the epitome of a fuss-free snack. They’re perfect for picnics and school lunches and, paired with crackers or your favorite vegetables, they make a great snack in between meals as well.
Remember to always check with other people to see whether or not they are allergic to any of the ingredients found in hummus to be on the safe side. Some may not have allergies to the top 10 food allergens, but they might be allergic to something else and that something else could be an ingredient in hummus.
12. Hummus makes you look young and beautiful
Hummus is such a big hit among celebrities and beauty and fashion icons and it’s not just because of its amazing flavor. For those of you out there who are set on doing everything to maintain a younger and more radiant look, hummus might just be the very thing you are looking for.
There are tons of ways to preserve your looks. Some of these include very expensive trips to doctors and surgeons who specialize in procedures like stem cell therapy, botox, and plastic surgery. Of course, if you’re not keen on going under the knife, you can always opt for the natural options instead and that includes eating lots of healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants.
Speaking of foods that are rich in antioxidants, did you know that hummus is overloaded with all the natural goodness that you need to keep your skin looking youthful, radiant, and glowing? Chickpeas, the main ingredient of hummus, is jampacked with antioxidants. If you’re making your own hummus from scratch, try to look for chickpeas with darker skin, too.
Now, most people would stay away from darker colored chickpeas thinking they’re old or not as good, but research shows that chickpeas with a darker colored skin actually contain more antioxidants which are great if you want to get a boost on that health and beauty benefit.
13. Hummus can help prevent constipation
As mentioned earlier, hummus is rich in fiber, thanks to its main ingredient: chickpeas. Fiber is one of the most important things that you need to consume if you’re suffering from constipation. It sweeps your insides clean and it helps soften your stool as well so you won’t have any kind of trouble when you’re doing your business.
Of course, just hummus won’t be enough to help your body process food better. Unless you’re eating tubs of it at every meal,.you’ll need to eat it with something else that’s rich in fiber to get all that constipation-fighting benefits.
14. Hummus is anti-inflammatory
Anti-inflammatory drugs aren’t often very expensive, and while most of them are quite effective in relieving pain and other symptoms of various diseases, they do have side effects that users might suffer from in the long run.
Taking anti-inflammatory drugs along with other kinds of drugs could also lead to adverse effects. Another thing that you have to watch out for when taking anti-inflammatory drugs is overdosing. Since many anti-inflammatory medicines can be purchase over the counter without any kind of prescription, it’s easy for people to abuse them and risk overdosing.
If you’re trying to avoid these risks but are still in need of some anti-inflammatory relief, try having some hummus. Most of the ingredients in hummus like garlic, chickpeas, and olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties that could help provide you the relief that you need. It could also prevent arthritis flare-ups when consumed regularly and for a long time.
15. Hummus makes your monthly period easier to bear
If you’re someone who always suffers from unnecessary downtime once a month because of your period, you know how difficult it is to deal with something that your body can’t help but do. Women around the world have to sacrifice precious time and some even have no choice but to stay in bed all day because of the pain that comes with your monthly period.
Sure, there are several treatments and drugs out there that can help relieve and alleviate the pain, but do you really want to be dependent on those? One natural way to ease the pain and make your periods easier to deal with is to eat certain kinds of food, and that includes hummus.
Now that you’ve read about the wonders that hummus can do, it’s time to learn more about this delicious dip and how you can enjoy it with this easy and delicious hummus recipe.
Quick and easy hummus sandwich
Lunch at school or in the office doesn’t have to be boring and unhealthy. If you’re looking to add some zing to your daily lunches, why not try packing a hummus sandwich or two? It’s quick and easy to make and is great for anyone who wants to eat healthier lunches all the time. Here’s a tasty recipe that you can take inspiration from, .
You will need:
• 1 onion, small
• 2 tbsp of ghee
• 2 slices of bread, whole grain
• 2 tbsp of hummus
• 1 pinch of garam masala
Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, start slicing your onion into thin rounds then add them to the skillet. Let sit for a few minutes until they caramelize, making sure to stir occasionally to avoid burning.
Once the onions have caramelized, take them out of the pan and set aside to cool a bit. While you’re doing that, spread a teaspoon each of hummus on both slices of bread (adjust according to your taste preference) and sprinkle some garam masala on the hummus for extra zing.
Lastly, add in the onions, close your sandwich and enjoy!
There are great health benefits why you should be eating hummus more offer. Find here 15 health benefits of hummus according to science and try a recipe.