Hummus is fast becoming a “hot cake” these days. You would not have to search too far before you find various flavors. They are present on the shelves of almost all grocery stores. Talk about black garlic flavor, red velvet, coconut curry, chocolate mint, and so on. The list goes on and on. But then, is hummus good for you? Is it a healthy food?
What Is Hummus?
Hummus has no universal recipe, but its main ingredient is chickpeas. Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free and used mostly as an alternative in plant-based diets. They belong to the pulse family of plants. Other foods in this family include beans, peas (such as split peas and black-eyed peas), and lentils. Chickpeas are incredibly eco-friendly, versatile, affordable, and readily available. Hummus comes from this amazing plant. It is a staple dip in many local dishes in the Middle East. But nowadays, it is becoming more popular in the West. Americans now focus a lot on healthy eating and snacking.
So we want to know if this d is indeed healthy. We have consulted with nutritionists, and we have answers for you.
Is Hummus Good For You?
Traditional hummus comes from chickpeas, blended with olive oil, lemon juice, sesame paste (tahini), and spices. With this mix, an expert dietitian from Boston says what you have is a nutrient-dense blend. Generally, it offers more minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients than most spreads or dips.
Because of the ingredients in its blend, hummus contains calcium, magnesium, and folate. Another expert dietitian from Los-Angeles tells us that this blend can help stabilize blood glucose, as well as prevents heart-related problems.
One nutritionist tells us that it contains a “trifecta of macros”. These include protein, healthy fat, and fiber. These macros will keep you satisfied and full. These are very vital to sustaining a healthy body weight.
While hummus has all of these nutrients, remember that it is only a dip. So you should not expect that you will get your recommended daily intake of macros from only hummus. You can’t go on drinking a dip like water. You take only a little amount per time. And that may not be enough to supply your RDI.
For instance, two tablespoons of this dip contain only 2g protein and 1g fiber. Experts say you need about 50g proteins daily if you are an adult of average weight. They say you also need 25g to 38g of fibers daily.
More so, chickpeas are protein-rich, but they are not complete proteins. That means they don’t contain all the 9 essential aminos.
Aside from the macros, there are also lots of antioxidants and many other vital micronutrients in hummus. They contain the antioxidant vitamins E, A, and C. They also contain folate, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
The unique nutrients in chickpeas may explain why those that eat hummus regularly have lower waist measurements and BMIs than other people. Even government data says that hummus eaters are about 53 percent less prone to obesity.
Other Relevant Things about Hummus
Hummus contains a blend of anti-inflammatory superfoods. Sometimes, some people add sweet ingredients, such as sugar and cocoa to make it as a dessert. It is good and healthy if you serve this dessert with fresh fruits. This is far healthier than ice cream or cake.
More so, you need only a short time to whip up one batch of homemade hummus. You only need a mini-food processor or blender to get this done. But then, you can also purchase pre-made versions. Just make sure you read through the label to be sure of what they put in it.
Go for brands that are made with extra-virgin olive oil. Be careful with products that use inflammatory oils, such as soybean oil.
Also, be careful of any product that has preservatives in it. Other things you should scan for on the list of ingredients are sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and any other word that sounds strange. If these are not present, then the product is good for you.
If you want to snack on hummus, make the best of your snacks by adding raw, fresh veggies to it. This would add to your snack’s health perks. This is better than any processed crackers or chips.
There are also many other ways to enjoy hummus. You can use it in the form of creamy salad dressings or mayo alternatives (for chicken, egg, tuna, and bean salads); as a thickening for your soups, sauces, cauliflower mash, or mashed potatoes. You can also use it to top your oven-roasted potatoes or veggies.
If you love trying out varieties, you can give hummus ice-cream a trial. Who knows? You may love it. You can also try recipes for hummus blondies or cookies, as well as chocolate mousse. These treats would introduce plant-based nutrients, protein, and fiber into your diet.
How to Eat Healthy Hummus
Hummus is indeed packed-full with very healthful ingredients. It is a calorie-rich food due to its oil and tahini content.
Store-bought brands usually contain about 70 calories in just two tablespoons. So you see how easy it is to stock up excess calories with hummus.
One way to checkmate this is to buy pre-portioned packs. Another alternative is to portion your hummus
before you start digging into it. That way, it will keep your serving size in check.
There is one other thing you should look out to. Be careful with what you are pairing it with hummus. Raw crunchy veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and celery are the best. You can also use a dollop in salads or incorporate it into your salad dressings.
Is hummus good for you? Yes, it is. But be careful how you portion your hummus and what you pair it with.