The basic recipe contains 6 healthy ingredients: chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and tahini, which have been shown to be highly anti-inflammatory, and thus can help lower inflammatory-causing chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Still unconvinced? Let's take a closer look at the ingredients and health benefits of hummus:
The Nutritional Facts
Hummus is packed with nutrients.
A 100g serving contains: 5g protein, 5g fiber, 9g fat, 20g carbohydrates, 13% (RDA*) vitamin c, 20% (RDA) vitamin B6, 15% (RDA) folate, 10% (RDA) iron, 10% (RDA) zinc, 11% (RDA) phosphorus, 28% (RDA) manganese.
*RDA denotes Recommended Daily Allowance.
The chart below provides an in-depth overview of its nutritional facts:
The Health Benefits of Hummus
1. Hummus is a good source of plant-based protein
The main ingredient in hummus, chickpeas, provides a substantial source of protein, enabling you to feel full after consuming it. In fact, you're less likely to snack in between meals due to their satiety effect. As hummus is often eaten with pita bread or other type of whole grain, it offers what is known as a 'complete protein', meaning it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for the body.
2. It helps fight illness and disease
Chickpeas have been shown to help balance cholesterol levels, reduce hypertension and protect against heart disease. Hummus is also a good source of fiber, preventing weight gain and fat around the organs, and has been known to help keep the arteries clear from plaque buildup, reducing the chances of cardiac arrest and stroke. Backing this idea, studies have shown that a daily serving of cooked beans (3/4 cup) can help reduce the chances of a heart attack and help balance 'bad' LDL cholesterol. Chickpeas have also been shown to have protective properties against cancer, particularly colon cancer - primarily because chickpeas have the ability to keep the digestive system and the colon free from harmful bacteria and toxic buildup. The beans found in fiber help keep waste moving out of the body quickly. Furthermore, a diet rich in beans has been shown to reduce hyperglycemia, helping to balance blood sugar levels. Consequently, this decreases the chance of developing diabetes or insulin resistance.
3. It decreases inflammation
Inflammation is the body's natural defense to get rid of toxins. But, when your body has a high level of inflammation, it indicates that your body has been trying to overcome food, environmental or medicinal toxins. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods help in reducing the chance of arthritis and disease, helping to heal the body. Hummus contains both garlic and olive oil, both of which are anti-inflammatory foods. In one study, garlic was shown to reduce inflammation and help fight wrinkles and aging. Garlic has also been used to boost the immune system and cure disease, whereas olive oil has been found to reduce inflammation, promoting healthy cholesterol levels. What's more is that chickpeas have been found to reduce both inflammation and blood clots.
4. Helps digestion and intestinal health
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber. Consequently, they help foster a healthy digestive system, making us feel full and satisfied for longer. Consuming enough fiber on a daily basis (about 25 to 35 grams) promotes a healthy body weight and decreases the chance of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and many more.
5. Hummus is high in vitamins and minerals
In addition to protein and fiber, hummus contains a number of essential micronutrients including iron, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins. The lemon juice found in hummus is also a good source of immunity boosting vitamin C and antioxidants. Tahini also has high levels of copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and calcium. Meanwhile, garlic provides the body with manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium, which has been shown to benefit the heart and boost immunity.
6. Provides bone health
The sesame seeds in tahini are an excellent source of various important bone-building minerals including zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and selenium. The copper mineral found in tahini helps keep the skeletal structure strong by facilitating the binding of collagen to elastin - both of which are important building-blocks of bones. Calcium also helps lower levels of bone marrow loss that is typical of the aging process, and zinc has been shown to be an important factor in bone development and growth.
7. Supports the heart
Diets rich in extra virgin olive oils help prevent cardiovascular disease. Regular consumption of good quality olive oil has been correlated with improving blood pressure levels, glucose, metabolism and has also been found to reduce cholesterol. Alongside olive oil, sesame seeds have been shown to reduce inflammation, provide important antioxidants and play a part in maintaining heart health by keeping the structure of arteries and cell walls healthy.
8. Boosts your energy
Chickpeas contain starch, a complex carbohydrate that the body uses for energy. Starch contains natural sugars called glucose, which the body is able to use steadily for energy. Because starches take an extended period of time to break down, once consumed, your blood sugar does not spike in the same way that simple carbohydrates (flour, white bread, pasta or soda) can cause it to.
How to Make a Delicious Hummus
Hummus is relatively easy to make and can be prepared in under 5 minutes. The recipe below serves 8 to 10 people and can keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.