Hummus is considered a true superfood and there are many reasons to do so. Discover what hummus is, how it is prepared and what benefits its consumption has for your health.
The health benefits of hummus are vast and numerous. It is a safe food that is also recommended for pregnant women and is extremely tasty. As hard as it may be to believe, this Arabic dish has existed for thousands of years. So, if you haven’t learned much about hummus yet, it’s time to find out. And if you haven’t tasted this dish yet, it’s good to know how many health benefits it can bring.
A brief history of hummus
Hummus is, in fact, the Arabic word for “chickpea”, which is the basis of this dish. The story of hummus begins, however, in Babylon, because legend has it that chickpeas grew in mythical gardens. Its exact origin has been lost, unfortunately, for the simple fact that it has existed for so long. For so many thousands of years since humans consumed it, chickpeas have traveled along the Levant and the Mediterranean, and many nations have assumed the origin of this food.
What can be said with certainty is that hummus is one of the first dishes of man. The fact that it exists to this day says a lot about its taste and nutritional properties. It is known to have been widely consumed in antiquity in Palestine, ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. And in ancient Rome it was sold as street food. What conclusion can we draw from this? When you eat hummus you can feel the taste of antiquity.
What is hummus?
The simplest hummus recipe involves boiling and crushing chickpeas . The puree thus obtained is then mixed with tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. But hummus is an extremely versatile dish, and can be mixed with other ingredients and spices.
There are recipes in which hummus is mixed with cayenne red pepper, green onions, cloves, parsley and even fruit, when eaten as a dessert.
Health benefits of hummus
Hummus is not only an extremely tasty dish, it also has many health properties. In fact, few dishes are so spectacular when it comes to nutritional properties.
1. Helps digestion
Hummus is rich in protein. In fact, it is composed almost entirely of protein, so it helps an easier passage of food through the intestinal transit. We all know how unpleasant digestive problems can become, so hummus can help us easily solve these discomforts. In addition, the high fiber content also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
2. Reduces cholesterol
The main ingredient in hummus, as already mentioned, is chickpeas. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, which means that they are part of the same family as beans. This amazing family of vegetables contains cholesterol-lowering nutrients. However, if you want to use hummus for this purpose, it is best to make it at home. Commercial hummus usually has too much salt and olive oil.
3. Fights and prevents cancer
This property is one of the many benefits of legumes that chickpeas have. Chickpeas contain three distinct elements that naturally protect cells from cancer risk, namely saponins, protease inhibitors and phytic acid. Tests and studies have shown that when consumed in adequate amounts, hummus can prevent cancer due to these compounds.
4. Helps with weight loss
Another reason why hummus is considered a superfood is that it helps you lose weight. We all know that diet food is not usually tasty, which is why it is so difficult to keep a diet. But this is not the case with hummus. It is creamy, has a very pleasant nutty aroma that is impossible not to love.
It is also full of monounsaturated fats, most of which come from the tahini paste you find right in the hummus. It is a popular substitute for trans fats and unsaturated fats. These are the main culprits for weight gain and abdominal fat. But you no longer have to worry about this if you start consuming this oriental pasta and trust the fantastic benefits of hummus.
5. Strengthens bones
The main ingredients in hummus, chickpeas and sesame, are both rich in calcium. What is the best calcium? When strengthening bones, of course. The main target group of these specific benefits are middle-aged or near-menopausal women.
This natural process of women is often associated with osteoporosis, so it is recommended that they consume as much calcium as possible. Of course, calcium can also be taken from supplements, but a natural source is always better.
6. Decreases anemia
Another compound that both chickpeas and sesame have is iron. Anemia is essentially the depletion of iron stores that the body takes from the blood. Consumption of hummus helps restore iron levels and reduces anemia, if it is present. Or, at best, it can prevent it.
7. Can successfully replace processed foods
In addition to the rest of the health benefits, hummus is also a food that helps you stay away from junk food. For example, you can use hummus instead of mayonnaise if you want to soak baked vegetables or potatoes in something. Mayonnaise, no matter how tasty it is, is definitely made from egg and oil and both are greasy and dangerous to health.
Another good use for hummus is to thin it with water or vegetable juice until it is thin enough to be used as a salad dressing. It is perfect to replace sauces based on oil, sour cream or yogurt. Hummus also replaces any other sauce in which you feel the need to soften the bread or chips. The benefits of hummus will become apparent as soon as you give up the bad fats and start eating the good ones.
8. Balances blood sugar
One of the problems that most of us face is blood sugar. We all know that we need to control it because otherwise it can cause serious problems in the short or long term.
Hummus gives a feeling of satiety, being mostly composed of proteins. In fact, in terms of satiety, the hummus is probably surpassed only by avocado. The feeling of satiety you have will prevent you from feeling the need for sweets or other snacks.
And, as a bonus, the lack of snacks will also help you lose weight.
9. Hummus helps people eat healthier
Researchers have conducted several studies on this subject and it seems so. One of the health benefits of hummus is that it encourages you to try other healthy foods to eat every day.
Hummus is part of the so-called Mediterranean diet , one of the healthiest in existence. Besides being extremely tasty, this diet encourages people to eat smaller portions, eat more vegetables and fruits, as much hummus as they want, seafood and season everything with healthy fats like olive or walnut oil. It is no wonder, then, that this diet works wonders for body and mind.
The aforementioned studies show that by consuming hummus, people feel encouraged to try other Mediterranean dishes.
10. It is rich in antioxidants
The list of beneficial compounds is far from complete, because chickpeas also have many antioxidants. They have the role of reducing the negative effect of free radicals produced by the body. This will eventually lead to better overall health and is an incredible natural remedy. You will no longer need supplements and pills if you take advantage of the benefits of hummus.
11. Prevents allergies
Hummus is a very clean food. It does not contain gluten, lactose and nuts. If you suffer from any of these allergies, you are safe with hummus. Moreover, if you combine it with any type of spice, aromatic herbs or ingredients, you can change it into any type of food you want.
Regarding allergies, however, it is good to check the product label if you buy it from the store. Manufacturers can use various ingredients, such as tahini, for example, and it is good to make sure it does not contain a product to which you are allergic.
For this reason, the best solution is to prepare the hummus at home. It’s not hard at all. All you need is boiled chickpeas, which you mix in a blender with sesame paste, olive oil, garlic and lemon. Thus, you have all the benefits of hummus right at home.
12. Hummus is versatile
Being so versatile, hummus is a king of superfoods. You can combine it with many other superfoods and turn it into a ridiculously healthy, tasty and nutritious dish.
Examples of ingredients that can be used in the hummus recipe:
- Avocado – mix these two creamy ingredients and sprinkle a little cayenne red pepper for a more special flavor. You will not be able to stop eating. And for an even better taste, put the avocado fruit in an aluminum foil before baking, before mixing it in the hummus, to accentuate the walnut flavor.
- Sweet potato – the sweet and pleasant taste of sweet potato combines very well with the slightly bitter aroma of hummus.
- Jalapeno and coriander – This combination will give you enough energy for the whole day. Coriander is rich in vitamin C, so you can’t go wrong.
- Green chili and lime – Commercial hummus usually has lemon juice already included, but you can also add it to highlight its taste. And in combination with green chili, it’s all you need to warm up on a frosty winter day.
- Coconut and curry – Given all the attention that coconut oil has enjoyed in recent years, it is already known that this is another wonder food that is good to be part of anyone’s diet. In fresh form, juice, milk or flakes, the rooster is very good for the health of the skin and hair. Combine it with the hummus and sprinkle a little curry and enjoy these specifically Thai flavors.
- Tzatziki – This recipe is a mixture of hummus and refreshing tzatziki. It is very easy to make at home, from cucumber, yogurt, dill, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Add a few good tablespoons of hummus and you can enjoy a Mediterranean snack.
- Sun -dried tomatoes and basil – Sun-dried tomatoes are one of the tastiest things you’ve ever eaten. Add a little fresh basil and a few lightly fried pine nuts, if you wish. This variation of hummus will make you think of the flavors of southern Italy.
From the Levant to the crowded streets of ancient Rome and Thailand, hummus is a fantastic dish that can take you almost anywhere you want. But, although it has a special taste, especially when combined with other ingredients, it does not make it so special. Hummus has many health benefits and you have no excuse not to taste this culinary product right now.