We all know that hummus is delicious and extremely versatile in the ways it can be eaten, butdid you know it’s chock-full of health benefits! That’s right! With wholesome ingredients like chickpeas and tahini, it’s no surprise that hummus is packed with a variety of nutrients that will help keep your body feeling happy and healthy. Talk about the perfect excuse to add some extra hummus to your next meal or snack!
When it comes to ingredients in hummus, the two stars of the show are chickpeas and tahini. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are rich in fiber and packed with protein. Chickpeas can actually help reduce levels of inflammation in the body that lead to chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes! Did you know that just one cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 15 grams of plant-based protein and a whopping 12 grams of fiber? That’s nearly 40% of your daily fiber needs, which is essential in stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping your hunger at bay between meals.
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s equally as nutritious as chickpeas. Tahini is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats – aka the “good” fats. These fats not only protect our heart and brain, but also improve our skin and hair. Along with protein and fiber, these healthy fats also play a big role in keeping us full and satisfied in between meals. Tahini just so happens to be a great source of both protein and fiber, too!
In addition, sesame seeds are extremely rich in many different vitamins and minerals, ranging from B vitamins all the way down to zinc. Just 1 tablespoon of tahini provides almost 23 mg of calcium, which helps to keep our bones and teeth nice and strong. Not to mention that tahini is completely plant-based, making it a great calcium option for those who don’t eat dairy. Read more about the health benefits of tahini.
Just these two ingredients alone are loaded with nutrients that help keep our bodies functioning properly, but there’s more to hummus than just tahini and chickpeas! The rest of the ingredients found in this rich and creamy dip usually depend on the flavor you opt for. However, it’s very likely that you would find garlic and lemon listed on the ingredient list in most hummus recipes.
Garlic has proven to be very beneficial for the heart, since it contains compounds that help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, as well as stabilize blood sugar levels. It also has strong anti-bacterial properties that keep our immune systems strong enough to fight off colds and other viruses. Garlic also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help fight cancer cells! However, the best way to reap these (and more) benefits is to use garlic in its raw form vs. cooking it. Hello, smelly breath!
Just like garlic, lemons also play a role in protecting your heart. This citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that may reduce risk for heart disease and stroke. In addition, the plant fibers found within lemons also contribute to lower total cholesterol levels. Lemon pulp is rich in soluble fiber and helps improve digestion, while the juice is high in citric acid. This can aid in preventing kidney stones from forming. Lemons are refreshing, flavorful and are packed with several nutrients that can improve our overall health.
Because of its low sugar content and high fiber and protein content, hummus is the perfect snack to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Next time you’re in the mood for a tasty snack or spread for your meal, don’t think twice about reaching for the nearest tub of hummus! Hummus is not only incredibly delicious, but it’s full of health benefits and added nutrition.
Information provided to Soom Foods by Marisa Urda, RD LD
Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian
- Wallace T, Murray R, Zelman K. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016;8(12):766. doi:10.3390/nu8120766
- Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. 2018. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids.
- Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Seeds, sesame butter, tahini, type of kernels unspecified. Ndbnalusdagov. 2018. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3740?man=&lfacet=&count=&max=50&qlookup=tahini&offset=&sort=default&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&Qv=.16&Q7019=1&Qv=16&Q7019=1.