Hummus has exploded in popularity (at least in the United States) over the last few years. It’s a relatively simple dish to make, you can make it taste like anything, and it’s actually not all that bad for you. Did you know that hummus can actually be healthy? Here are some of the benefits of hummus.
1. Hummus can help keep your regular
Thanks to its high fiber content, one of the benefits of hummus is that it can keep your digestive tract regular. It’s an effective and tasty way to get more fiber into your diet and fiber itself has other health benefits like helping to prevent heart disease.
2. It can help improve your bone, muscle, skin, and blood health
Hummus has a high amount of protein. Protein is an essential building block in bone, muscle, skin, and blood health. You can get this from meat but vegetarians are usually looking for all sorts of ways to get protein. Hummus is a good one.
3. Hummus can help lower your cholesterol
Hummus is made from chickpeas which are better known as garbanzo beans. Beans in general have nutrients in them that can help lower your cholesterol. Of course, if avoiding heart disease is a high priority, you may want to make your own at home because grocery store brands tend to be high in sodium!
4. It can also help prevent cancer
Another common health benefit of beans in general are their cancer preventing properties. Beans have three compounds, saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid that have shown in tests to guard cells from the kind of damage that can cause cancer.
5. It can help you lose weight
Hummus is traditionally made with sesame seed butter (called tahini) which contains a fair amount of monounsaturated fats. These have their own set of health benefits but among them is the ability to help promote weight loss and reduce belly fat. This is because monounsaturated fat is a popular substitute for trans fats and polyunsaturated fats which cause weight gain and increases in belly fat.
6. It can help your bones grow stronger
Both chickpeas and tahini also contain calcium which, as we all know, helps contribute to good bone health. This is especially important for women who are reaching their golden years as their bones need calcium to avoid osteoporosis.
7. It can help alleviate anemia
Chickpeas and tahini are also good sources of iron which helps deliver oxygen to red blood cells. When you have a deficiency in iron, you get can anemia and thus consuming things with iron will help relieve that deficiency.
8. It can be a good substitute for unhealthy foods
There are some great health benefits of hummus but it can also help you avoid the negative health affects of other foods. For instance, you can use hummus as a substitute for mayo which is essentially just eggs and fat. You can also mix it with broth or water until it’s thin enough to be used as salad dressing. You can even use it as a dip for raw veggies instead of ranch dressing. Hummus is a healthier alternative to those things.
9. It can help balance your blood sugar levels
Thanks to the nutrients in hummus, you can eat it to help control your blood sugar levels. Obviously, it’s not a cure all for that but every little bit helps, right? It does this because it’s high in protein which helps you feel fuller for longer. You can also use this effect to fight food cravings and help yourself lose even more weight!
10. Hummus may inspire you to eat healthier foods
Hummus is part of the Mediterranean diet which is reportedly quite good for you. The diet includes smaller portions of meat, more veggies, plenty of hummus, seafood, and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and nuts. If you’re already eating hummus, it may inspire you to go all out and just change to this healthier diet!
11. Chickpeas are high in antioxidants
It doesn’t take a doctor to know that antioxidants are good for you and chickpeas have a lot of them. Getting plenty of antioxidants helps reduce the oxidant damage done in our bodies. While there is no specific thing it prevents or helps in, it just contributes overall to good health.
12. It’s great for allergies!
Hummus is gluten-free, nut free, and dairy free. If you have those allergies then you’ll be happy to know that hummus is still something you can eat freely. Since it can be warped into so many different flavors, you can use this to replace a lot of stuff that you may be allergic to and thus reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
If you’re still not sold on hummus, you should see all the things that you can make with it. Once you create the base hummus, you can add fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and whatever you want really to alter the taste to fit whatever you’re having. That means there’s really no excuse not to get yourself some!
Featured photo credit: Foodess via foodess.com
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