In recent years, hummus has gone from trend to staple. Just take one look at the Internet! The web is home to countless mouthwatering recipes.
All hummus is made from chickpeas and tahini. Spices, olive oil, salt, and pepper are often added. And while it’s a Middle Eastern food, you can easily find hummus in American grocery stores. Popular flavors include roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato.
Aside from the delicious taste, it’s extremely good for you. Here are five reasons why.
5 Health Benefits Of Hummus
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1. Improves Glucose Response
The fiber in hummus can slow down carbohydrate absorption. This means that it has a very low glycemic index, making it great for diabetes management. In fact, according to the Nutrition Journal, the postprandial glucose response of hummus is four times less than white bread.1
One cup of hummus has 14.8 grams of fiber. This can help you reach the recommended daily intake of 20 to 35 grams a day. To boost your intake, eat hummus with veggies.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a daily intake of 50 grams of fiber can significantly decrease blood glucose.2 Of course, make sure to increase your intake slowly. Having too much too soon can cause constipation and bloat.
If you don’t have diabetes, hummus can still benefit you. It’ll decrease the chances of type-2 diabetes, especially if you’re at risk.
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2. Reduces Cholesterol
Eating hummus will lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. The fiber works by trapping bile, a digestive liquid that’s made of cholesterol. When the fiber is excreted in the stool, bile leaves with it. The body responds by breaking down LDL cholesterol to make more bile for digestion.3 The result is lower LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Ideally, total cholesterol should be 200 mg/dL and LDL should be 129 mg/dL or less.4 The fiber in hummus will help you reach these levels, giving you protection from heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
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3. Decreases Blood Pressure
The cholesterol-lowering effects of hummus will also benefit hypertension or high blood pressure.
When you have less cholesterol in the blood, your arteries won’t get clogged up. Therefore, blood can easily pass through, leading to healthy blood pressure. A measurement of 120/80 is considered normal.5 It’s yet another preventative factor of heart disease.
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4. Manages Weight
Hummus is packed with protein and fiber. It’s the perfect recipe for weight loss! Both nutrients will boost your satiety and prevent hunger. You’ll be less likely to binge later on, so it’ll be easier to make better food choices.
A study in Journal of Food Science and Technology found an association between chickpeas and lower energy intake. Specifically, a suppressed appetite was observed. It’s yet another reason to add hummus to your weight loss plan.6
To make the most out of hummus, eat it as a snack. It’ll keep you nice and full until you can eat a full meal. Hummus is also ideal for traveling or when you’re having a relatively busy day.
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5. Boosts Energy
For an amazing source of iron, eat hummus. One cup has 6 milligrams, which will contribute to the recommended daily intake of 8 milligrams for men and 18 milligrams for women.7
Iron helps make red blood cells, which transport oxygen to your tissues. But when you don’t have enough iron, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen. You’ll feel weak, tired, and fatigued.
By eating hummus, you’ll replenish your iron stores. It can come in handy when you lose blood during your period.8
Often, hummus is enjoyed as a dip or spread. You can even spread it on lean chicken and then bake it. To keep things interesting, use spices to make different hummus flavors.
|↑1||Augustin, Livia SA, Laura Chiavaroli, Janice Campbell, Adish Ezatagha, Alexandra L. Jenkins, Amin Esfahani, and Cyril WC Kendall. “Post-prandial glucose and insulin responses of hummus alone or combined with a carbohydrate food: a dose–response study.” Nutrition journal 15, no. 1 (2016): 13.|
|↑2||Chandalia, Manisha, Abhimanyu Garg, Dieter Lutjohann, Klaus von Bergmann, Scott M. Grundy, and Linda J. Brinkley. “Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” New England Journal of Medicine 342, no. 19 (2000): 1392-1398.|
|↑3||Lambeau, Kellen V., and Johnson W. McRorie. “Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber therapy.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2017).|
|↑4||Cholesterol Levels: What You Need to Know. MedlinePlus.|
|↑5||High Blood Pressure. American Diabetes Association.|
|↑6||Zafar, Tasleem A., and Yearul Kabir. “Chickpeas suppress postprandial blood glucose concentration, and appetite and reduce energy intake at the next meal.” Journal of Food Science and Technology (2016): 1-8.|
|↑7||Iron. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑8||Anemia caused by low iron – children. MedlinePlus.|