Hummus (chickpeas and tahini paste), which we Lebanese enjoy at most of our Sunday family lunches, is also enjoyed elsewhere around the world as a dip for veggies and crackers or as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. The well-deserved reputation of hummus stems from its creamy texture, amazing taste, and here’s one more thing– for its almighty health benefits.
Decoding that 1 cup of hummus!
One cup of hummus has around 400 calories. Is that good news or bad news for weight watchers? Good news, as long as the portion is controlled: a quarter to half a cup let’s say and eaten as a stand-alone snack without any bread or complementary kafta, grilled meat, or shawarma. Half of those calories are from fat; luckily, almost 80% are the good kind of fat. What about fiber? A cup of hummus has around 15g of fiber, which is roughly 60% the daily recommendation. Chickpeas, the main ingredient of hummus, are excellent sources of protein, making hummus quite good on this count with 19g per cup.
Highlighting some of the benefits!
Being high in fiber and protein, hummus is by far one of the most filling foods you can ever try, thus helping you shrink a few centimeters from your waist line. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found that people who snack on hummus have a 53% less risk of being obese and are 51% less likely to have high blood sugar than those who don’t eat hummus. Bonus: their waist size was found to be more than 2 inches (5cm) smaller on average.
Hummus also ranks high among the protective foods for your heart! This is because it combines Mediterranean heroes like olive oil, chickpeas, garlic, and tahini – all of which positively contribute to lowering blood cholesterol levels and protecting you from heart attacks.
Hummus can also help alleviate anemia because it is a good vegetable-based source of iron: one cup can provide around 30% of the daily recommendation for this mineral. Add some lemon juice and boost your body’s absorption!
Healthifying hummus with a magic wand!
- Grab the opportunity to eat more vitamin-rich veggies! Dip celery sticks, cucumber slices, broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower in it.
- For a healthy snack, dip whole-wheat pita bread, bran sticks, or oat flakes in hummus. That makes your snacking experience more digestion friendly with filling fiber!
- Replace olive oil when preparing hummus with fat-free yogurt. That will offer much less fat and more proteins!
- Use hummus as a spread for sandwiches and wraps instead of mayonnaise.