Hummus Health Benefits – More Reasons To Say Yes To The Chickpeas Spread!

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How good can a spread made from pureed chickpeas and roasted, hulled sesame seeds be? Amazingly good, if you go by world opinion on hummus. Its piquancy aside, hummus also boasts of high nutritional value.

Hummus – An Introduction And Interesting Hummus Trends

Known to the Arabic speaking population as ‘hummus bi tahina’, the classic version of hummus roughly translates to chickpeas with tahini. The central ingredient of hummus is pureed chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Add the right amounts of sesame seed butter (tahini), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt into the mix, and your traditional hummus paste is ready to be served.

Needless to say, this Middle Eastern spread is easy to whip up and 100% vegetarian. Its most popular usage is in the form of accompaniment with falafel (deep fried ball made from a combination of fava beans and chickpeas) sandwich.

Similar to hummus in preparation is ful, a paste made from boiled fava beans and condiments. As such, it’s a popular hummus alternative in the Arab world. In Israel, the two are combined together (called “Hummus Ful”) and offered to eager customers who simply can’t get enough of it!

You too, could combine a whole host of ingredients to the original chickpeas and tahini mix, and turn its overall taste profile on its head without sacrificing on the nutritional quotient. Case in point is the highly popular hummus and salsa mix, which has become quite popular in North America.

Ingredient Level Nutritional Breakdown:

If one were to consider the ‘Original’ Hummus recipe, each ingredients by itself contributes significantly to the overall nutrition of the dish. Don’t take our word for it, peer down to see the full nutritional breakdown.

•    Chickpeas: Apart from being a good source of protein and dietary fiber, its folic acid content is higher than most other beans, not to forget minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
•    Tahini: Hulled sesame seeds form the basis for tahini paste, which in turn is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamin B1, manganese, copper, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
•    Olive Oil: One of the truest sources of monosaturated (healthy) fats, its other nutritional components include vitamin E, and antioxidants like tocopherols and phenols.
•    Garlic and lemon juice: Where garlic cloves feature amazingly high levels of vitamins (vitamin B6) and minerals (iron, calcium, selenium, manganese and copper), lemon juice too is an excellent natural tonic for the liver. The juice concentrate also sports a high degree of vitamin C content.

Hummus – Unusual Health Benefits

A standout pro-health attribute of hummus is that it is quite filling due to its high fiber and protein content. As a result, people who integrate hummus into their daily dietary schedule tend to feel satiated for hours.

Additionally, hummus also offers the whole spectrum of essential amino acids. These are special simply because the human body cannot create them from scratch.  Therefore they can only be provided via the dietary channel. That said, out of the eight indispensable amino acids, garbanzo beans offer five of them whereas the other three are catered by the tahini component in hummus.

Hummus is healthy for your colon mainly due to high content of insoluble fiber found in chickpeas. These fibers upon reaching the colon are metabolized into SCFAs (Short Chain Fatty Acids) and go on to fuel the energy needs of cells lining the inner walls of the intestine. This in turn maintains optimal functionality of the colon and reduces chances of colonic cancer.

Finally, there is the omega-3 content in humus that should be considered quite seriously, as this fatty acid is a vital cog in keeping your mind sharp and heart healthy.                         

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