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One of the benefits of globalization is the awareness it has brought about other cultures and their cuisines.
A popular example is hummus. A Middle Eastern dish, hummus is an Arabic word that means chickpeas. The traditional recipe involves mashing boiled chickpeas along with other ingredients and flavorful aromatics to give it its creamy and pleasant taste.
Why Is Homemade Hummus Better?
Hummus is now sold in stores as a ready-to-eat dip, which often contains lesser nutrients due to its processing. (1) It may also contain ingredients of lower quality that may not be as nutritious.
For this reason, it is better to prepare hummus at home using choice ingredients.
How to Make Hummus at Home
You will need:
- 1 cup of boiled chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon of tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ¼ cup of ice water
- 3–4 cloves of garlic
- Salt to taste
- Blend all the ingredients together until it forms a fine thick paste.
- Top it off with more olive oil.
- Consume it with pita bread or veggie chips, or use it as a spread in sandwiches and on avocado toast.
Health Benefits of Hummus
Consuming hummus can offer you the following health advantages.
1. Aids weight loss
Hummus is a great source of protein as well as dietary fiber, resistant starch, and good fats. It also contains vitamins and minerals including riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium. It is low in calories and can replace other high-energy snacks for a weight loss diet. (2)
Hummus is effective as a filling snack that improves satiety and reduces the need to consume high-calorie snacks that may increase weight. (2)
2. Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
In a study of healthy adults, consuming hummus with or without bread resulted in lower insulin release and blood sugar level post meal. If eaten with high-fiber veggies such as carrots, it can further slow down the release of sugar for better diabetic control. (3)
3. Improves heart diseases
It has been demonstrated in many studies that a diet rich in fiber is beneficial for reducing blood cholesterol levels and the overall risk of heart disease. (4)
In addition, tahini, an ingredient of hummus, was also effective in reducing triglyceride levels in the blood, which can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (fatty plaques in the blood vessels) that can block the flow of blood and increase blood pressure. (2)
4. Improves gut health
The types of dietary fiber present in chickpeas include lignin and poly/oligosaccharide, which are soluble fibers and can improve bowel movement.
In human studies, frequent chickpea consumption has been linked to easier defecation and softer stools as compared to a diet without chickpeas. (1)
You can add additional nutrient-rich ingredients such as avocado (which improves heart health and protects against atherosclerosis) or blanched spinach (for added micronutrients and fiber) to improve the taste and overall nutrition of hummus.
Most-Asked Questions About Hummus
How much hummus should I eat in a day?
Four tablespoons of hummus per day for a week provides nutrients equal to 25 g of dietary fiber and 14 g of plant protein as well as many vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in adult diets. (1)
Who should avoid hummus?
People who are allergic to sesame seeds and chickpeas should avoid consuming hummus. Moreover, store-bought hummus can contain excessive sodium and can raise blood pressure, so those with cardiovascular problems should use caution when consuming it.
Hummus is a delicious snack that can be used as a dip or spread. It can also be added to salads for dressing. Made from chickpeas and tahini, it is rich in nutrients, plant protein, and dietary fiber, which can aid in weight loss and managing diabetes and heart diseases.
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