Hummus is quite popular in the Middle East. It is one of the most widely consumed Middle Eastern foods in the US as well. And this is because the dish is packed with powerful ingredients that offer incredible benefits. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of hummus – benefits you ought to know. Scroll down!
Table Of Contents
What Is Hummus?
Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip or spread made by blending chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic.
Hummus is also referred to as the ancient food as important historical figures had consumed it. According to some scriptures, hummus was first consumed in 13th century Egypt. What’s fascinating is it is still being consumed today – all because of the benefits it offers.
What Are The Benefits Of Hummus?
1. Fights Inflammation
The olive oil in hummus has a major role to play here. Studies showed that a traditional Mediterranean diet primarily made of olive oil was helpful in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases (1). Virgin olive oil contains several phenolic compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.
The olive oil in hummus also contains another antioxidant called oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This antioxidant was found to have anti-inflammatory effects similar to Ibuprofen, a popular synthetic drug used for fighting inflammation. The inflammatory diseases oleocanthal was found to treat include joint-degenerative disease, neuro-degenerative disease, and some specific cancers (2).
2. Helps Maintain Body Weight
The fiber in hummus does the trick. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, and they are replete with fiber. Consumers of chickpeas and hummus have shown to have higher nutrient intakes of dietary fiber. Emerging research also suggests that chickpeas and hummus may play a beneficial role in weight management (3).
3. Aids Digestion
In a Canadian study, adding chickpeas to the diet for three weeks had promoted the growth of beneficial bacteria (bifidobacteria). The study concludes that chickpeas have the potential to modulate intestinal microbial composition, thereby promoting intestinal health in humans (4).
4. Hummus Protects The Heart
Hummus can benefit the heart, thanks to its incredible ingredients. In a study, dietary supplementation with chickpeas for five weeks had helped lower serum levels of both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (5).
Olive oil is another major ingredient in hummus. Olive oil is known for its cardioprotective benefits. Studies suggest how a Mediterranean diet, which is predominantly rich in olive oil, can protect the heart. Olive oil regulates blood pressure and improves glucose metabolism, thereby enhancing heart health (6).
5. May Regulate Blood Sugar
This has got to do with the glycemic index of hummus. As it is made primarily of chickpeas, it has a low glycemic index. In a study, hummus was found to cause four times lesser spikes in postprandial blood glucose levels as compared to white bread (7).
6. Can Boost Bone Health
The tahini in hummus, which is made of sesame seeds, contributes to bone health. It is rich in calcium – just three tablespoons contain 150 mg of calcium (8).
7. Can Enhance Energy Levels
The combination of chickpeas, sesame seed paste, olive oil, and lemon makes hummus the ideal food for boosting energy levels (9).
The complex carbs in chickpeas offer a steady dose of energy. The sesame seeds and olive oil contain healthy fats. These fats prevent blood sugar spikes and the subsequent crash in energy levels (10).
These are the ways hummus can benefit you. The dish is not only super-healthy but also incredibly delicious! But then, how do you prepare it at home?
How To Prepare Hummus At Home
What You Need
- 2 cups of well-cooked or canned chickpeas, drained (liquid reserved)
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, and extra oil for drizzling
- ½ cup of tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 cloves of peeled garlic
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin or paprika
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
What You Need To Do
- Except for the parsley, put everything else in a food processor and mince.
- Add the chickpea liquid and make a smooth puree.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Drizzle olive oil and parsley.
The ingredients in hummus show us why including it in our diet is absolutely worth it. The dish is easy to prepare too!
Do you think we have missed including any other benefits of hummus? Have you eaten hummus before? How did you like it? Do let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How long does hummus last?
Once opened, packaged hummus lasts for 4 to 6 days, and homemade hummus lasts for 3 to 5 days (in the fridge, post the best by date). If unopened, packaged hummus lasts for 3 to 10 days, and homemade hummus lasts for 3 to 5 days, in the fridge.
Can you freeze hummus?
Yes, for a maximum of four months. But the lesser time it spends in the freezer, the better – as extended freezing can have negative effects on the flavor and texture.
Can you eat hummus every day?
One cup of hummus has around 408 calories. Eating it daily can be beneficial, but take care of the portion size.
Can you have hummus and pita every day?
Pita bread adds about 270 calories extra. You may not want to have the combination regularly. Once a week should suffice.
Is hummus keto?
No, it is not. It is made of chickpeas, which are legumes.
- “Molecular mechanisms of inflammation…” Current Pharmaceutical Design, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Oleocanthal, a phenolic derived from virgin…” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
- “The nutritional value and health benefits of…” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Diets supplemented with chickpea or its main...” Beneficial Microbes, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Dietary supplementation with chickpeas for…” Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine.
- “International conference on the healthy…” European Journal of Clinical Investigation, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Post-prandial glucose and insulin response…” Nutrition Journal, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Healthy bones – activity and nutrition” Paediatrics & Child Health, US National Library of Medicine.
- “The nutritional value and health benefits of...” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Functional role of fatty acids and their...” Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
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