Hummus is a popular Egyptian food dip prepared with cooked and mashed peas, especially chickpeas. It is mixed with ingredients like olive oil, Tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. It is very easy to make, and the addition of your favorite flavor makes it tastier. Usually, people have it with chapati or bread, but it can also be accompanied with other things to prepare mouth-watering meals. Delicious variations of dishes with hummus are muffalummus, tuna, and olive, pastrummus, spinach and feta, hot bacon, harissa, mint and chipotle lime, etc. Chickpeas in hummus are low in carbohydrates and are a rich source of many other essential nutrients (1). Hence, its regular consumption can help you keep severe medical conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular health issues, and hypertension away from you. Some of the exceptional beauty and health benefits of hummus are discussed in this article that explains why you should include it in your diet.
Health Benefits of Hummus
1. Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Protein plays an important role in providing strength and developing our bones and muscles (2). Rich content of protein in hummus due to the presence of peas makes it an effective and healthy way to build your bones and muscles. Thus, a tasty recipe for hummus is a smart way to add proteins in diet for vegetarians.
2. Reduces Cholesterol
When you crave for something delicious, but at the same time, want to avoid unhealthy food, you can opt for a tasty hummus recipe. This will not only suppress your hunger but also help you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Chickpeas in it reduce the low-density lipoprotein cholesterols levels (3). Also, it contains olive oil that is considered a natural fat that can be used instead of polyunsaturated fatty acids to control plasma and LDL cholesterol (4). All these reasons make hummus a healthy alternative to prevent the rise of cholesterol levels in your body.
3. Manages Weight
The presence of rich protein content in hummus makes you feel full and helps resist fast food cravings and hunger, thus, it manages your weight (5). Also, the presence of sesame seed butter in hummus decreases belly fat and promote weight loss. It also comprises iron that boosts your energy level and makes you feel less tired while you workout at the gym.
4. Prevents Colon Cancer
Hummus has insoluble fibers that body and promote well-being of the digestive tract (6). It is very important to eliminate the risks of rectal and colon cancer. It increases the growth of useful bacteria in the colon as it comprises peas, beans, and other constituents that contain all the vital nutrients. You can prepare a mouth watering sandwich with roasted red pepper hummus, avocado, and feta.
5. Alleviates Anemia
Iron aids proper supply of oxygen to the red blood cells. Hummus is considered as the perfect food for absorption of iron as it offers a combination of iron and vitamin C to the body. Chickpeas, beans, and Tahini, all have a high content of iron (7), whereas lemon juice fulfills the need of a dose of vitamin C (8). Thus, hummus is an effective natural way to upgrade the level of hemoglobin and to reduce the chances of anemia. Egg, kale, and tomato wraps with hummus is a recipe suitable for people with anemia.
6. Balances your Blood Sugar Levels
Hummus is high in fiber, protein, minerals, and low in calories. Nutrients in hummus are highly efficient to control sugar levels in the blood. Protein keeps you full for a longer time, helps you combat food cravings, and reduces the sugar-spiking effect (9). You can try nuts, fruits, carrots, and hummus smoothie to balance your blood sugar levels.
7. Fights against Allergies
Hummus is fuss-free as it is free of many such things which one may be allergic to. It is nut free, dairy free, and gluten free, thus, it is a safe option for those who have some kind of allergies (10). So, replace your snack food with a hummus recipe as it will not only keep you healthy and fit but also combat against allergies.
8. Prevents Constipation
Hummus is a wonderful snack alternative if you have digestion problems such as constipation. This is due to the presence of rich fiber content in it. Chickpeas, the most important ingredient of it have a high quantity of fiber that eases the bowel movement, and aids you to get relieved from constipation (11). If you are a soup lover, you can prepare a hummus and mushroom soup and can mix ingredients of your choice to make it tastier.
9. Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Hummus is a great natural option to keep your heart healthy. Chickpeas, beans, and other ingredients used in this dip cut your cholesterol levels up to a great extent as they contain many vital minerals, vitamins, and amino acids (12, 13). Also, use of virgin olive oil helps control cardiovascular diseases as it lowers harmful cholesterol (14). You can make quick and tasty avocado, eggs and hummus toasts for any time of the day.
10. Relieves Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tahini is another crucial constituent that comprises various bone building minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, and calcium, since it is made up of sesame seeds. Copper plays a vital role in binding of collagen with elastin, which is quite essential for the building of bones (15). On the other hand, calcium has the ability to reduce the levels of bone loss, specifically in the case of rheumatoid arthritis (16). Zinc contributes to the bone development and is considered as a protector of bones (17). Egg yolk is a great source of vitamin D, which is another important nutrient that provides strength to the bones (18). You can eat scrambled eggs mixed with hummus to regulate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
11. Controls Hypertension
Hummus not only controls the cholesterol levels in the body but also regulates the risks of high blood pressure, i.e. hypertension due to the presence of less saturated fats and high content of calcium and magnesium in it (19). If you have this problem, you can replace the high saturated fat and sodium content food with a hummus broccoli recipe. Broccoli is a package of vitamin C, and it is a natural antioxidant that lowers high blood pressure. Other than this, it also constitutes fiber, calcium, potassium, and other important minerals. Have a combination of the two to eliminate hypertension and related problems.
12. Soothes Muscle Pain and Soreness
Hummus has the ability to reduce the pain and soreness of muscles as ginger is one of its chief components. Ginger is highly effective at reducing muscle pain that occurs due to eccentric exercise (20). It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, after an intense workout, you can have a tasty quesadilla prepared with avocado and hummus.
13. Relieves Menstrual Pain
If you feel too much pain during your menstrual cycle, hummus is a healthy and safe alternative to a pain killer drug. It comprises of ginger that is as potent as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid in soothing menstrual pain (21). Ginger is quite effective against the pain if taken at the time when the menstrual period starts. You can have hummus quinoa cakes if you are a vegetarian while non-vegetarians can eat stuffed peppers with beef and rice and hummus for menstrual cramps.
14. Protects against Alzheimer’s Disease
Hummus is a healthy alternative for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as ginger is one of its chief components. Ginger is considered as an efficient nontoxic nutraceutical supplement for this problem (22). It has antioxidants and bioactive compounds that show anti-inflammatory properties against age-related damage of brain, and aids in proper functioning of the brain in elderly women.
15. Great for Nausea
If you feel dizziness, vomiting, or nausea, hummus is one of the best food options for you. Ginger in it is quite beneficial for these issues and regulates the effects of queasiness (23). Prepare spicy hummus muffins, it would be a delightful treat for you as it will not only pleasure your taste buds but also eliminate nausea and the symptoms related to it.
16. Relieves Respiratory Disorders
Asthma and other chronic diseases occur due to inflammation and sensitivity of the muscles of the lung’s oxygen channels. If you are going through any kind of respiratory issue, hummus is an excellent choice for your meals. It comprises ginger that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties (24). Therefore, hummus is a better option than medication as medicines may have troubling side effects. You can take hummus regularly in various forms, such as with mashed potatoes, cucumber roll-ups, sun dried tomato bites, etc.
17. Promotes Sound Sleep
It seems unbelievable, but yes, hummus also makes you sleep for long hours. If sound sleep is a far-flung dream for you, start including hummus in your diet. One of its chief components, chickpeas has the ability to make you sleep more. Chickpeas have vitamin B6, which is required to produce melatonin, a hormone responsible for you to fall asleep (26). You can prepare roasted red pepper hummus burgers with caramelized onions.
18. Keeps Your Immune System Healthy
Hummus is loaded with iron as it contains chickpeas. The high amount of iron transports oxygen in the body and is responsible for keeping the immune system strong as well as enhancing metabolism (27, 28). Also, lemon juice and ginger, the other two important constituents of hummus comprise antioxidants and reduce free radical. Thus, both lemon and ginger build up a good immune system and combat against the bacterial diseases (29, 30).
19. Treats Cough and Cold
Chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, and lemon are blended together for the basic hummus recipe. Lemon juice content is a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin protects your from cold and cough, and keeps your immune system strong (31). So, whenever cough and cold viruses catch you, try a hummus recipe to get rid of it fast.
20. Avoids Gastric Troubles
Hummus has numerous health benefits and one of them is to avoid gastric issues. Lemon juice is an important part of this dip and has a good amount of vitamin C. It reduces the gastric troubles and other problems related to digestion, such as peptic ulcer, pernicious anemia, gastrointestinal bleeding, gastritis, etc. (32). Thus, hummus is really soothing for your stomach and the gastrointestinal duct. You can eat it with Portobello mushrooms and feta.
21. Reduces Blood Clots
Reduction in blood clots is another hummus benefit. Chickpeas are the most important ingredient of hummus recipes and are highly efficient in reducing the chances of blood clots. They have a high quantity of vitamin E and K, and show blood thinning properties (33, 34).
Note: Due to the presence of vitamin K,it has the ability to lower the effects of a blood thinning drug named as warfarin.
Beauty Benefits of Hummus
22. Eliminates Wrinkles
The acidity of lemon juice in hummus helps get rid of wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging effects on your face. Chickpeas in hummus contain a good amount of nucleic acid that has the ability to protect skin aging responsible for the wrinkles on your face (35). Also, it not only regulates cell structure and metabolism but also promotes proper enzyme action as well as hormonal balance (36).
23. Protects Skin from the Harmful Rays of the Sun
Chickpea also has a good amount of niacin, a B group vitamin which keeps your skin healthy (37, 38). Thus, consume hummus to save your skin from sun damage and harmful toxins. Add it to your meal for any time of the day to extirpate aging effects.
24. Beneficial for Long Hair
The main ingredient of hummus i.e. chickpea has a good amount of vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin C, zinc, and iron (39). These vitamins and minerals play a key role in the growth of hair. Along with this, olive oil in hummus is also quite beneficial for hair as it strengthens your hair, keeps them long and healthy, and nourishes your scalp (40). Thus, you don’t need to rely on the supplements for these nutrients for long hair. Instead, you have a natural option for it. Eat hummus regularly for nourished, healthy, and long hair. You can have chickpea salad with olive & hummus dressing.
25. Removes Dandruff and Regulates Hair Loss
Hummus is prepared with virgin olive oil and is a useful home remedy for those who have dandruff. Olive Oil is considered a great oil to cure almost all hair problems, out of which, one is dandruff. If consumed regularly, it can do wonders to your hair. It not only cures dandruff but also helps against hair loss (41). Hummus also contains vitamin B6 as it is made up of chickpeas. Lack of this vitamin results into hair problems (42), thus, regular consumption of hummus may keep your hair dandruff free and healthy.