By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali
Hummus is a magnificent staple of the Middle East and North Africa. This delightfully creamy, oleaginous and meaty in its flavor dish is packed with vitamins and proteins and is a complete meal in its self. People all around the world enjoy this appealing dish as a sideline with foods like Steak, Pita Bread and Falafel. However, in many regions, people who truly understand the health benefits of this remarkable combination of Chick Peas, Sesame Seeds, Olive Oil, and Garlic never look at it as simply a dip left on the table for the guests who are less considerate about the condiment and more involved in the food. They actually respect this healthy staple dish of their cuisine, and it’s time we should too.
A Recent Health Study conducted in the USA revealed that Hummus is significantly high in natural nutrients, dietary bio-actives, and Polyphenols. Moreover, people who consume Hummus on daily basis recorded a higher Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score as compared to those who were not consuming Hummus on a regular basis (Wallace, Murray, and Zelman, 2016). According to the USDA food composition database, a 100g serving of Hummus contains 166 Calories, 7.9g protein, 14.3g Carbs, 21% Folate and 14% Iron RDI (Reference Daily Intake). Moreover, Hummus is an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Additionally, Hummus contains 6.0g of Dietary fiber per 100g of serving, which is equal to 24% of the daily requirement for women and 16% for men (DeSalvo, Olson, and Casavale, 2016). Furthermore, Chickpeas which are the primary ingredients of Hummus helps improve the Gut Microbiome. I have already discussed the role of Gut Microbiome in weight management and general well-being in a previous article. So let’s cut to the chase. A health study published in 2010 revealed that consuming 200g of Chickpeas daily for three weeks helped in the growth of ‘bifidobacteria’ or should we say the good guy bacteria, and helps in reducing the growth of harmful bacteria (Fernando, et al., 2010). Hummus also has a low glycemic index, which is a scale used to measure the ability of a food to raise our blood sugar, and it also reduces the LDL cholesterol levels (Pittaway, et al., 2006). Zowie!
If these are not enough nutritional virtues for you to start revering this wonder food, then here is something that will surely make you fall in love with this amazing dish. Although it may sound crazy, eating Hummus will actually help you in losing a significant amount of weight. What! No need to get cynical because it’s true. If you eat Hummus alone or alongside a complete healthy meal, you won’t crave for anything else for at least seven to eight hours. Now you can say goodbye to those sudden cravings that are negatively affecting your eating habits. Ole!
So what’s the science behind this? The Chickpeas that are the primary ingredients in Hummus are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and have a very low Glycemic Index. In other words, your body will slowly digest these carbohydrates, while providing you with all the energy that you need, all the while keeping your blood sugar stable. Furthermore, the tryptophan present in Hummus delays your hunger for a conveniently long time. Hence, controlling your weight and keeping you healthy and fit.
The sum and substance of the entire discussion are that researchers have correlated Hummus with a number of Health benefits, and proved that it is free from all types of food allergens, such as gluten, nuts or dairy. Hence, anyone can have it. So, is Hummus good for you? The answer to this question is a resounding, yes! Eat a bowl of Hummus or add it to your meal, especially after a hard time working out. This nutritious food is best for losing weight and living healthy.
DeSalvo, K.B., Olson, R. and Casavale, K.O., 2016. Dietary guidelines for Americans. Jama, 315(5), pp.457-458.
Fernando, W., et al., 2010. Diets supplemented with chickpea or its main oligosaccharide component raffinose modify faecal microbial composition in healthy adults. Beneficial microbes, 1(2), pp.197-207.
Pittaway, J.K., et al., 2006. Dietary supplementation with chickpeas for at least 5 weeks results in small but significant reductions in serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols in adult women and men. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 50(6), pp.512-518.
Wallace, T.C., Murray, R. and Zelman, K.M., 2016. The nutritional value and health benefits of chickpeas and hummus. Nutrients, 8(12), p.766.