Yum, hummus! This creamy spread made from mashed chickpeas has recently grown in popularity in the United States. Sure, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern food, but the benefits favor any cuisine. In fact, hummus benefits span a wide range of health conditions.
Regardless of what flavor you prefer, quality hummus will benefit you in a number of ways, including the ability to lower inflammation levels, improve digestive health, fight disease, and protect heart health. Hummus benefits also include better bone health and a natural energy boost.
1. Provides the Body with Plant-Based Protein
Hummus benefits the body as a good source of plant-based protein. A basic hummus recipe includes chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and tahini. Hummus is a healthy source of both plant-based protein and fiber, especially for vegans and vegetarians.
2. Fights Illness and Disease
Hummus health benefits include disease prevention. Chickpeas help naturally balance cholesterol levels and reduce hypertension to prevent heart disease. Hummus health benefits also include protective properties against cancer. Studies have shown that chickpeas fight against harmful bacteria and toxic buildup in the colon. High-fiber foods can also help balance blood sugar levels. (1)
3. Decreases Inflammation
Hummus benefits the body by decreasing inflammation. Chickpeas, garlic and olive oil all have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that garlic can help boost the immune system, while olive oil works to reduce inflammation and promote healthy cholesterol levels. By reducing inflammation, hummus health benefits include a reduced risk of inflammatory illness and disease. (2)
4. Aids in Digestion
Hummus benefits include the ability to aid in digestion and improve intestinal health. The fiber in chickpeas help keep the digestive system regular and healthy. As a high-fiber food, hummus benefits also include a decreased chance of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
5. Provides the Body with Vitamins and Minerals
Hummus benefits the body as a healthy source of essential vitamins and minerals. Hummus contains fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins. These nutrients may be especially important for vegans and vegetarians. Thanks to the garlic it contains, hummus benefits also include antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and immune-boosting properties.
6. Supports Bone Health
Hummus health benefits include improved bone health. Sesame seeds are used to make tahini, a key ingredient in hummus. They contain zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and selenium. These nutrients play an important role in strengthening weak bones.
7. Protects Heart Health
Hummus benefits include improved heart health. The olive oil in hummus works to prevent cardiovascular disease by improving blood pressure levels and reducing cholesterol. Olive oil and sesame seeds help lower inflammation levels to promote heart health. (3)
8. Boosts Energy Levels
Today, one common complaint is fatigue. People lack energy. Fortunately, hummus benefits include a natural energy boost. Chickpeas contain starch, which the body uses as a steady source of energy. Starch energizes the body without causing dips and spikes in blood sugar levels, which can be caused by complex carbohydrates.