What is hummus? Hummus is a thick, creamy spread made primarily from mashed chickpeas. There are a few other healthy ingredients that have become popular worldwide over the past couple of decades. It has long been enjoyed in Middle Eastern and North African countries and today in commonly eaten across North America and Europe, as well. Hummus has a rich tradition — some even refer to it as an “ancient” food that has a history of being consumed by important historical figures in the Middle East.
Chickpeas are both vegan and gluten-free. Chickpeas contain high levels of iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. They are also a good source of folate, copper, phosphorus and zinc. The most common type of chickpea is beige in color and round in shape. Other varieties include beans that are black, green or red.
In fact, Hummus is one of the most widely consumed Middle Eastern foods in the U.S. today. Study show that in 2008, over 14.7 million Americans reportedly said they eat hummus on a regular basis. If you’re new to Hummus and still wondering, “what is Hummus exactly?, Read the following, to see why you should ideally be eating it every day.
According to scriptures, Hummus — at least as we know it today — was first consumed in Egypt around the 13th century, although the recipe used at this time differed from today’s, because it omitted Tahini and used other nuts instead.
Hummus, today, still plays a major part in the diet of many healthy populations living around the world, primarily in the Middle East. Hummus is commonly consumed with every meal in Israel. Included in all “Mezzeh tables” in Syria and Turkey. Commonly eaten most days for breakfast accompanied with Pita bread in Palestine and Jordan. Believe to still be enjoyed in Egypt and in many Arabic nations in a variety of meals, as well.
Benefits of Hummus
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern populations have been consuming good-quality olive oil and Tahini for thousands of years. (which also frequently includes other Hummus ingredients like beans, lemon and garlic) has been shown to be very anti-inflammatory. We know that inflammation is the root cause of chronic diseases.
Eating a diet similar to these healthy populations that help lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and can lessen the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Is Hummus healthy? If you make homemade Hummus with real ingredients or buy a quality store-bought Hummus then yes. Your basic Hummus recipes do contain healthy ingredients: Such as chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and Tahini.
Various flavors of Hummus: There are popular types like roasted Red pepper or Kalamata olive, which you may have seen in your local grocery store — have additional ingredients that are mixed into the basic Hummus recipe described above.
This is good news because it keeps the tastes of Hummus interesting and offers a wide variety of options.
Purpose? Top benefits of Hummus:
Excellent Source of Plant-Based Protein
Fights sickness and Disease
Helps Digestive system and Health Intestines
High in Vitamins and Minerals
1. Excellent Plant-Based Protein
What is Hummus good for? For starters, Hummus is an excellent protein source for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores too. Chickpeas, which are the base of nearly all Hummus recipes, are high in protein, which can aide in making you feel full after consuming them. The feeling of satiety, often times, will make you less likely to snack (especially on junk food) between meals.
Because Hummus is often eaten with pita bread or another type of whole grain, the chickpeas and grains together make up a “complete protein,” which means they contain all essential amino acids that are necessary for the body to acquire from food and provides energy. Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, is also a excellent source of amino acids (specifically one called Methionine), which allows Tahini to create another complete protein when combined with chickpeas.
2. Fights sickness and Disease
Beans, and chickpeas in particular, have been shown to help balance cholesterol levels, reduce hypertension and protect against heart disease. In fact, Hummus is commonly eaten in many Mediterranean nations that experience great health, low rates of cardiovascular disease and longevity, with Greece and Turkey two of them.
This may be due to the high fiber content in chickpeas, which helps people avoid overeating and gaining harmful excess weight. Beans also help keep the arteries clear from plaque buildup, decreasing the chances of Cardiac Arrest and Stroke. In fact, studies have shown that having just one daily serving (3/4 cup cooked) of beans of any kind can help to decrease chances of a heart attack and help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Chickpeas have also been shown to have protective properties against cancer, especially colon cancer. This is due to chickpeas’ ability to keep the digestive system, including the colon, free from harmful bacteria and toxic buildup. Since beans’ fiber helps to keep waste moving from the body quickly.
Note that, a diet rich in beans has been known to reduce hyperglycemia and help balance blood sugar levels. This decreases the chance of developing diabetes or insulin resistance. In fact, populations who traditionally eat beans often, but then switched to diets that contained less beans suffer from higher rates of disease. Once reintroducing beans back into the diet, these populations experienced significantly less problems balancing blood sugar.
3. Decreases Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense to move toxins out. However, when your body has a high level of inflammation, it indicates that your body has been trying to overcome food, environmental, or internal toxins. Foods that help reduce inflammation also help in reducing the chance of arthritis and disease, and can also help heal the body.
Hummus has garlic, olive oil and chickpeas, which are all known anti-inflammatory foods. A Korean study, shows extracts from garlic are known to reduce inflammation, help fight wrinkles, and aging. For centuries garlic has been used to boost the immune system and cure diseases. More studies are being conducted to understand the effectiveness of garlic.
A research published in the British Journal of Nutrition olive oil, has been found to reduce inflammation in the body, and can also help with healthy cholesterol levels.
Chickpeas have been found not only to reduce inflammation, but also to reduce blood clots. Research from the University of Karachi in Pakistan preformed on two different varieties of chickpeas showed both were effective at reducing inflammation.
4. Keeps Digestion and Intestinal tract Healthy
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, which has multiple health benefits, including helping to foster a healthy digestive system, making us feel full and satisfied, improving cardiovascular health, and more.
Encourage Yourself: Consuming enough fiber daily (between 25–35 grams depending on your gender and needs) is correlated with a healthy body weight and deceased chance of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many more. Hummus makes an excellent addition to any high-fiber diet.Remember Hummus is very filling, along with some pita bread and some raw vegetables. You will be delighted to know, you have yourself a very pleasing meal.
Your Body and Soul need the proper nourishment daily, don’t just feed the body. Remember to feed your soul as well. They will both keep your strengthened.
Just For Jokes! I would tell the nations secret for a good bowl of Hummus and some fresh pita bread. A friend and I frequent this restaurant called “Yai Yai Mary’s” in Houston, and it is such a treat.