Hummus is a food experiencing a surge in popularity lately – the creamy Middle Eastern dish is now found in 20% of US households, perhaps due to its versatility and elegant flavor.
Enjoyed as a spread on sandwiches, a dip for chips, or accompanying roasted chicken or fish, this smooth dip has a valued place in world cuisine.
But it’s not just great-tasting; hummus is also great for you.
High in fibre, hummus is weight-loss friendly – a high-fibre diet can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, in addition to making you feel fuller sooner and for longer. But the health benefits don’t end there. Read on to find out what makes hummus a true superfood.
1. Hummus Boosts Your Iron Levels.
Hummus’s primary ingredient, chickpeas, are an excellent dietary source of iron, and also contain moderate levels of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. Anaemia, a common condition caused by low iron levels in the bloodstream, can be significantly helped by a diet rich in sources of iron and vitamin C, like chickpeas.
2. Hummus Reduces Your Risk Of Blood Clots
Chickpeas are part of the lentil family of legumes, which are rich in vitamin K. Vitamin-K rich foods have blood coagulating properties(1), and can plays an important role in blood clotting. It’s been shown to help reverse the effects of an excess use of warfarin, a blood-thinning drug which can cause bleeding problems. Specific varieties of chickpeas may also help reduce inflammation as well(2).
3. Hummus Lowers Your Blood Sugar Levels
As a complex carbohydrate, hummus provides energy without the risk of a spike in blood sugar levels. Instead, the protein-rich food fills you up, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable before they begin to drop again. This makes it a diabetes-friendly food, but more than that, hummus may actually improve your glucose tolerance, significantly reducing your risk of developing heart disease(3).
4. Hummus Reduces Your Risk Of Developing Cancer
Rich in folate – just one cup of hummus contains 36 percent of your recommended daily intake of folate – hummus is associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer(4), as well as heart disease.
5. Hummus Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Regular consumption of chickpeas has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, especially when legumes like chickpeas are eaten daily instead of wheat products like bread and cereal(5).
￼￼￼￼￼6. Hummus Helps You Lose Weight
The high fibre content of chickpeas helps you feel full and satisfied from even a modest serving size – a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found that snacking on hummus led to much lower risk of obesity, as well as a lower risk of high blood sugar(6). Hummus is especially filling when fortified with another protein, like boiled egg whites.
So next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, pick up some hummus – it fills you up faster and is better for you than other dips, and is generally budget-friendly and easy to find as well.