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Hummus Ingredients That Make It A Healthy Snack

    Hummus Ingredients That Make It A Healthy Snack

    Hummus is a savory dish, popularly used as a dip for vegetable snacks or bread. It originates from the Middle East – some food experts allege that hummus is Jewish food, while others say that it came from northern India or Nepal. However, the popular dish has been claimed by the Lebanese, Turkish, and Syrians. Hummus ingredients include chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), garlic and lemon.

    How hummus ingredients maintain health

    In addition to its palatability, its main components – chickpeas and tahini – are packed with nutrients.

    Health benefits of chickpeas

    Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are among the earliest cultivated legumes in history. Due to its high nutritional content, it is considered a vegetable and a protein. It has all nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. As a source of non-animal protein, it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It contains the nutrient choline that helps the brain and nervous system work properly.

    Chickpeas offer the following advantages for overall health:

    High fiber

    This helps curb obesity as it helps you feel full for a longer period. One cup of chickpeas is about half of the daily intake recommended for adults. In addition, fiber helps prevent constipation. This component has raffinose, an oligosaccharide that is broken down in the colon by good bacteria. This breakdown produces butyrate, a short fatty acid chain that lessens inflammation in the colon’s cell wall and improves regularity in the intestines. By promoting cell death, it could also prevent colorectal cancer.

    Rich in polyunsaturated fats, low in sodium, and no cholesterol

    Chickpeas contain sitosterol, a plant substance with a similar close to that of cholesterol. It disrupts the body’s absorption of cholesterol thereby lowering levels in the blood.

    Low on the glycemic index

    This is a system that assigns a number to a carbohydrate based on how much it increases blood sugar. Because of its low value, it is a good food option if you want to control your blood sugar.

    Gluten-free

    Gluten is protein naturally found in grains like barley, wheat, and rye. Normally, eating whole grains lessens rates of heart disease, stroke, and risk of type 2 diabetes. As a prebiotic, it feeds ‘good’ bacteria in the body, typically found in the gut. Gluten becomes problematic when the body senses a toxin and signals its immune cells to attack, as in people with autoimmune disorders. People with sensitivities to gluten who often have limited food choices can eat hummus.

    But you should be vigilant in checking the label on prepacked food, as there are sometimes additives in hummus ingredients.

    Health Benefits of tahini

    Tahini, derived from sesame seeds, is a rich source of vitamins. A study showed that white sesame seeds contained high antioxidant values. In fact, the proliferation of human liver cancer cells was arrested after getting exposed to white sesame seed extract. This suggests that these seeds could be a source of food that can prevent chronic illnesses.

    The sesame seeds in tahini offer a host of nutrients: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, selenium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, B vitamins, and polyunsaturated fats.

    Below is a list of health benefits of some of these nutrients.

    Phosphorus and calcium

    These are good for the bones and teeth. They also work with B vitamins in ensuring proper kidney function, normal heartbeat, nerve signaling, and muscle contraction. In addition, they help form proteins for cell and tissue, repair, growth, and maintenance.

    Magnesium

    This controls nerve and muscle function, blood sugar level, blood pressure, as well as protein, bone and DNA formation.

    Manganese

    This trace mineral helps form connective tissue, bone, and sex hormones. It aids in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, and normal brain and nerve function.

    Polyunsaturated fats

    This type of fat reduces bad cholesterol levels, cuts the risk of heart disease and stroke, while maintaining cell and tissue development

    Due to the enormous benefits of these hummus ingredients, some consider it a superfood.

    Key Takeaways

    Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish that has made its way into kitchens all over the world. Its tastiness and health benefits make it even more popular. Hummus ingredients have a wide array of nutrients that support heart health and gut health. It also supports normal function of the bone and teeth, nerve and muscle, blood sugar, and cell and tissue development.

    Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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    Sources

    What Are Chickpeas and Are They Healthy?, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/health-benefits-of-chickpeas/. Accessed 3 Mar 2022

    Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans/. Accessed 3 Mar 2022

    Who invented hummus?, https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20171211-who-invented-hummus. Accessed 3 Mar 2022

    Glycemic index diet: What’s behind the claims, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/glycemic-index-diet/art-20048478#:~:text=The%20glycemic%20index%20is%20a,counting%20%E2%80%94%20for%20guiding%20food%20choices.. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Gluten: A Benefit or Harm to the Body?, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/gluten/. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Phenolic content, antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of six varieties of white sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum L.), https://doi.org/10.1039/C6RA26596K. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Nutrition Facts – Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried, 1 tbsp, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=76&contentid=12023-2. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Phosphorus in diet, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002424.htm. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Magnesium, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Manganese, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/manganese#:~:text=Manganese%20helps%20the%20body%20form,normal%20brain%20and%20nerve%20function.. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Polyunsaturated Fat, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/polyunsaturated-fats#:~:text=Polyunsaturated%20fats%20can%20help%20reduce,and%20maintain%20your%20body’s%20cells.. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

    Amino acids, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm#:~:text=Essential%20amino%20acids%20cannot%20be,threonine%2C%20tryptophan%2C%20and%20valine.. Accessed 4 Mar 2022

     

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    Written by China Logarta Updated Aug 30
    Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD
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