Hummus is a spread or dip made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Sometimes it has other added ingredients, like red pepper or pine nuts. Overall, this spread is a good alternative to those that contain mayonnaise since it offers more nutrients, including a small amount of protein.
A 2-tablespoon serving of hummus contains about 50 calories, and provides you with 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. It also contains 5 grams of fat, all of which is the healthier unsaturated type of fat. The combination of fiber and protein will help keep you feeling full for longer than if you had consumed a snack that only contained refined carbohydrates.
A serving of hummus will provide you with 6 percent of the daily value for folate and 4 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-6 and thiamine. Folate helps prevent birth defects and is especially important for pregnant women. All three of these B vitamins help to turn the food you eat into energy and are necessary for keeping your skin, liver, hair and eyes healthy, as well as for proper brain and nervous system functioning.
There are definitely health benefits of hummus, as it can be high in calories due to its fat content. Use it as a dip for vegetables or whole-wheat pita or as replacement for mayo on sandwiches. You can also use it to fill cherry tomatoes or in deviled eggs for a different type of healthy appetizer, or use it as one layer in a seven-layer dip.
Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos told Fitness magazine that since hummus is so rich in protein, it can help fight hunger cravings and balance blood sugar levels. This could help curb excessive snacking. Kotsopoulos also says that the iron content in hummus helps boost your energy, which could make you more motivated to hit the gym.
In a study done by Jane Pittaway, an Australian lecturer in Health and Biomedical Science at the University of Tasmania’s School of Human Life Sciences, a group of people aged between 30 and 70 and not in the best of health ate chickpeas every day for three years. She had a second group of people supply their daily fiber intake through wheat products like bread and cereal. The results showed that when both groups consumed the same amount of fiber, those on the chickpea diet consumed less fat and had a small reduction in cholesterol.
If you are trying to find healthier ways to continue to eat your (not so healthy) foods, hummus can be your savior. Instead of the typical cream cheese on a bagel, be different and try hummus — it’s even delicious with lox! Food Republic suggests replacing the mayonnaise in chicken salad and deviled eggs with hummus for a healthy twist.
Category: Health & Fitness