Is Hummus Healthy? Top Benefits You Can Get From Hummus

Hummus is a popular dip/spread from the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern region that includes chickpeas, sesame paste, and lemon juice. You might wonder is hummus healthy since chickpeas are high-carb.

Hummus

Is hummus healthy? Hummus (“chickpea” in Arabic) dates back to Egypt in the 1200s. Today there are many varieties, but the main ingredients are usually chickpeas, sesame paste, and lemon juice. These ingredients are all generally considered healthy. However, one possible issue is chickpeas aren’t low-carb, so they’re not allowed on diet programs like Keto and Atkins. However, even in this case, there’s an easy fix since you can swap in a low-carb substitute like cauliflower rice. Another possible issue is sometimes the Naan bread is made of refined wheat flour.

There are various possible health benefits from hummus including protein, anti-inflammation, and allergy-friendly. The one “ingredient” that might cause inflammation is pita bread made of white flour. However, this is another easy fix since you could use whole wheat flour when making the Naan bread. While grain-free diets have been trending in recent years you can still get many nutrients from whole grains. The key is to go with whole foods instead of highly-processed wheat flour, for example. This increases the nutritional value.

Is Hummus Healthy? What’s the Deal with Hummus?

Hummus is quite popular in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. So there might be question marks about where it started. For example, there’s some debate among Greeks and Arabs about where the food was “invented.”

Like many other debates, it will likely never truly be settled. However, it’s important to review written records. These are more important than other claims because they show permanent records about who first made hummus.

The first written account of hummus dates back to the 1200s in Egypt. One issue worth noting is chickpeas are a popular ingredient in the Middle East. The word “hummus” actually translates into “chickpea” in the Arabic language.

However, the more solid proof is written records from 13th century Egypt that describe a dish that’s quite similar to modern-day hummus. It was eaten in Cairo during that time.

Meanwhile, Greece and Egypt were trading partners during this time. So many dishes in the two countries are quite similar and sometimes exactly so. However, it’s important to focus on the written records about the first hummus made.

What exactly is hummus? Various recipes exist. However, the basic recipe includes:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tahini (Sesame Paste)
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt

There are some variations available, but these are the main ingredients for making hummus. Some people might be unable to eat this dip/spread because they’re on a low-carb diet. If that’s the case, then they can swap out the chickpeas and swap in cauliflower rice. The problem is solved.

There is a chance people might also be allergic to any of the ingredients. However, it’s highly unlikely since none of them are among the most common food allergies. Those foods are:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

If you’re allergic to 1+ of hummus ingredients then swap in a substitute.

Is Hummus Healthy?

Here are some of the main health benefits of this dip/spread:

Fat

You get lots of healthy fat from hummus and mostly from the olive oil and sesame seeds. In recent years health experts have focused on the importance of “good” fat over bad/total fat. Healthy fats, including omega-3s, can provide several health benefits for the heart, brain, skin, hair, and so on.

Protein

Humus is an excellent source of protein, which is mainly from the chickpeas and sesame seeds. One serving provides 8g of the macro-nutrient, which is quite high for a plant-based dish. If you’re vegan/vegetarian then this dish is also a good option since it’s there are no animal products.

Vitamins and minerals 

You get these daily values:

  • Manganese: 39% DV
  • Copper: 26% DV
  • Folate: 21% DV
  • Phosphorous: 18% DV
  • Magnesium: 18% DV
  • Iron: 15% DV
  • Zinc: 12% DV

So you get a good amount of several vitamins/minerals from hummus. It’s quite incredible since it’s a limited-ingredient food. The key is that they’re all nutrient-rich, so you get lots of nutritional value from beans, seeds, oil, juice, etc.

High-fiber 

Yet another health benefit from hummus is it’s high in fiber. This can provide benefits like good gut health and better digestion. These are both important for good overall health.

Anti-inflammation 

The different ingredients in hummus are critical for providing anti-inflammation benefits. In recent years health experts have focused on this feature because many serious diseases are linked to inflammation.

Meanwhile, hummus provides several ingredients that are anti-inflammation. Olive oil is high in a powerful antioxidant that can fight inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil (EVO0 is the best option.

Meanwhile, sesame seeds can also help to reduce body inflammation, which can help reduce the risk of diseases like arthritis.

Even chickpeas might help to fight inflammation. Studies show that eating legumes can help to lower blood factors that show inflammation.

Top Hummus Variations

Cauliflower rice 

This is a tweak you should consider if you’re on a low-carb diet like Keto or Atkins. Those diets are strict about your daily total carbs. For example, both of these programs usually allow a maximum of 50g of carbs per day.

How about chickpeas? One serving has 61g of carbs. That’s more than you’re allowed during one day of Keto or Atkins. It’s better to go with a low-carb veggie like cauliflower. One serving has just 5g and even less when you subtract the fiber.

White/Black Beans

These are some other options if you want to swap in a different lentil. They’re loaded with nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamins/minerals. Pick either one for a nutritious and delicious new take on an old-school favorite.

Avocado

This Keto-friendly tropical fruit has just 2g of net carbs. It gets a thumbs-up on Keto, Atkins, and South Beach. It can also be swapped in for a hummus variant.

Avocados provide many health benefits. They’re loaded with water and are about 80% healthy fat. You also get lots of vitamins/minerals for extra nutrients, which is another plus.

Chocolate

This might seem odd at first for a dip that usually includes beans, seeds, and fruit juice. However, you’ll have most friends/family at “chocolate.” Make sure to add unsweetened raw cacao for the best results including powerful antioxidants.  

*** Whole Wheat Naan

The popular flatbread is often paired with hummus. One possible drawback is the bread is often made with refined flour. You can fix this problem by picking naan made with whole wheat flour.

There are various possible issues with refined flour. For example, this can lead to issues like weight gain, inflammation, and blood sugar spikes. You can avoid all those issues by simply going with whole wheat naan after learning is hummus healthy

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