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Hummus

Is hummus healthy? Four reasons to include this tasty dip in your diet

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 by: Josephine Beck
Tags: hummus, vegetarian diet, weight control

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(NaturalNews) Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern spread made of pureed chickpeas. Usually blended with tahini (sesame seed butter), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic, it is a very good source of protein and vitamins. Studies even indicate that hummus has properties to help fight against cancer. Delicious, easy-to-prepare and vegetarian-friendly, why not including it in your diet?

Hummus is a nutritious dip rich in vitamins and minerals

Here is a list of all the nutrients you get from eating hummus:

• Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (chickpeas tend to be higher in folic acid than other beans), zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium.

• Sesame seeds are also a source of protein. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they also contain calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber.

• Lemon juice acts as a tonic that stimulates the liver. It is also extremely high in vitamin C.

• Olive oil is one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats ("good" fats) and is rich in antioxidants such as phenols and tocopherols as well as vitamin E.

• Garlic cloves have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, copper, selenium, iron and calcium.

Hummus is a healthy and wise vegetarian food choice

Hummus is the way to go in terms of nutrition for vegetarians. It serves as a complete protein when eaten with bread and is a very good source of iron (the high amount of vitamin C in lemon juice also helps enhance iron absorption). Many vegetarians and vegans worry about getting enough iron in their diet. Since meat is traditionally thought of as the main source of iron, vegetarians need to find different sources to help them reach their recommended amount of iron each day.

How healthy hummus is for you depends a lot on what you eat it with. Cauliflowers, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, cucumbers and even endives are top veggies to eat with hummus. Traditionally, it is eaten with grilled pita bread.

Hummus tastes great and is easy to make

You can prepare chickpeas yourself (the best way to make hummus), which will take you a little bit more time. Otherwise, buy organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and throw all the hummus ingredients into a blender.

Here is a basic list of ingredients to make homemade hummus:

• One can chickpeas (425 grams)
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup tahini
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 to 3 tablespoons water
• Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

What is great about hummus is that you can add many different flavors to it (cumin, dill or even ginger!) to keep your taste buds from becoming bored.

Hummus helps control hunger and weight

Hummus is not considered a low-calorie food, but it has fewer calories than mayonnaise (90 calories per tablespoon for mayo vs. 30 calories per tablespoon for hummus). There are big benefits of choosing hummus over other spread or dips, such as mayonnaise or cream cheese. Because chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, they help control hunger.

In addition, they have a low glycemic index, which makes hummus a powerful combination to help control weight. Research shows that a diet supplemented with chickpeas has favorable effects on serum lipids, glucose tolerance, satiety and bowel function. Because hummus also contains olive oil, it may have additional preventative and healing properties. Although high in calories, olive oil has been shown to help reduce levels of obesity. The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which are actually considered a healthy dietary fat.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.whfoods.com

http://www.canadianliving.com

http://www.oliveoiltimes.com

http://bembu.com

http://www.inspiredtaste.net

About the author:
Originally from France, Joséphine Beck has qualification in digestive care and nutritional product advising, and holds a master degree in communication and information. She now lives in BC, Canada.
Joséphine is the founder of the website OptiDerma.com, through which she helps people find natural remedies for skin problems.

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