11 Health Benefits of Hummus Plus Delicious Recipes That Will Make It Your Favorite Food
Hummus has become really popular in the last few years and for a good reason. Besides being very simple to prepare, hummus is also very tasty and versatile. On top of that, this Levantine dip is very good for you.
Hummus is made by combining chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and a bit of salt in a food processor.
It is part of the Mediterranean diet which is based on eating smaller meat portions, more fish and seafood, as well as lots of vegetables, hummus, and good fats like nuts and olive oil.
Here are some of the most important health benefits of eating hummus.
1. Improves Bone, Muscle, and Skin Health
Hummus is packed with protein, which is the basic building block in the bones, muscles, skin, as well as the blood. Protein is also crucial for growth, recovery, and keeping the immune system in good shape. We usually get our proteins from meat, but if you’re a vegetarian it can be a problem to find solid sources of protein. Hummus is a great solution for vegans and vegetarians.
2. Regulates Digestion
The high levels of dietary fibre in hummus regulate the function of the digestive tract. As an indigestible part of plant foods, fibre travels through the digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements. It also promotes the growth of good bacteria, (like bifidobacteria), at the same time inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. In this way, hummus can help in the prevention of colon cancer and other health issues.
Chickpeas, like all beans, are known for their cancer-preventing effects. They contain two important compounds – saponins and protease inhibitors, which have been shown to help protect the cells.
4. Facilitates Weight Loss
The standard hummus variety is made with sesame seed butter (tahini) which is packed with monounsaturated fats. These fats offer a plethora of health benefits, including the ability to reduce abdominal fat and aid weight loss. This is due to the fact that monounsaturated fats are a great substitute for polyunsaturated fats and trans fats which are responsible for weight gain and increased abdominal fat.
5. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
All beans, including chickpeas, contain nutrients that help lower the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. In addition, the olive oil contained in hummus is a great source of good fats that candecrease the risk of cardiovascular issues.
6. Helps with Anemia
Tahini and chickpeas are also rich in iron. Iron plays many important roles in the body and a deficiency can result in anaemia. Eating hummus is a great food source of iron to help prevent this.
7. Fights Osteoporosis
Tahini and chickpeas contain high levels of calcium which, as you might already know, is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. This is especially important for small children, as well as women age 50 and over who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
8. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Chickpeas have a low GI (glycemic index), which means they won’t cause a sharp spike or drop in your blood sugar levels. They’re also packed with protein and fiber which slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, as well as healthy fats which slow down the absorption of carbohydrates from the gut. This provides a steadier and slower release of sugar into your bloodstream.
9. It’s High in Antioxidants
Chickpeas and olive oil contain lots of antioxidants which fight harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress. Foodsrich in antioxidants may help lower the risk of infections, as well as some forms of cancer. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties and may be good for your heart health.
10. Hummus Can Substitute Unhealthy Foods
Hummus can be used instead of some unhealthy ingredients and help you avoid the adverse effects they have on your health. For example, you can use hummus instead of mayonnaise or combine it with some water and use it as a salad dressing. You can also use the beige-coloured emulsion as a healthy substitute for ranch dressing and dip raw vegetables in it.
11. Great for People with Allergies
Whether you’re allergic to dairy, nuts, or gluten, you can eat hummus freely! You can add many different ingredients (fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, etc.) to vary the taste and use it to replace a lot of foods you’re allergic to.
If you’re still not convinced that hummus is one of the best foods on the planet, check out the following recipes that will make your mouth water.
3 Great Hummus Recipes
1. Standard Hummus Recipe
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
3 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. cumin
salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse for about five minutes, stopping to scrape the sides, to add some liquid from the can of chickpeas if the mixture is too thick, or add some more salt if necessary. Serve sprinkled with some olive oil and store in the fridge.
2. Beet Hummus
½ lb. beets
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 garlic clove
5 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
salt to taste
Start by cooking the beets. Cut off their tops, scrub them clean, and place them in a dish filled with water. Cover the dish and place it in an oven preheated to 375°F. Cook until the beet is easily penetrated with a fork or knife. Let it cool, then peel.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste to adjust the ingredients and seasonings if necessary.
3. Avocado Hummus
2 cups chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini
2 avocados, peeled and cored
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. cumin
salt to taste
Add all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Serve sprinkled with olive oil and garnish with red pepper flakes and cilantro.