Over the past decade or so, hummus, a once-obscure Middle Eastern garbanzo bean dip, has become one of the most popular dishes in the United States. Whether you are at a backyard barbecue, a baby shower, or an upscale eatery, you are almost certain to come into contact with at least one hummus-inspired appetizer or entree. It’s no wonder- not only is hummus relatively simple to make at home, but it also has a surprisingly high number of health benefits. Here are a few facts you should know before you make hummus a staple in your diet.
It’s a great source of protein. People who prefer plant-based protein in their diet will be happy to know that hummus is a particularly protein-rich food. Vegetarians and vegans can use hummus as one of their primary sources of protein and rest assured that they are getting enough of the essential building block that improves the overall health of our skin, bone, muscle and blood.
It can help lower cholesterol. If you are on a low-cholesterol diet, or if you simply wish to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, hummus can be the key. Since hummus’ primary ingredient is garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, it is a food that can help keep your heart healthy, as all beans contain nutrients that can help lower cholesterol. However, make sure to avoid store brands of hummus that are high in sodium if you are really looking to keep your heart as healthy as possible.
It can improve bone strength. Since garbanzo beans and tahini, the two main ingredients in hummus, contain calcium, hummus is a particularly good food choice for post-menopausal women looking to maintain their bone density and avoid osteoporosis.
It’s loaded with iron. Chickpeas and tahini (a sesame seed paste) are good sources of iron, which helps oxygenate red blood cells. Anyone with an iron deficiency will be happy to know that eating hummus can help combat their anemia and get the boost in their iron intake that they need.
Have any other fun health facts about hummus? Please share in the comments section.