“Health is wealth” is a common proverb in our lives from childhood. However, we aren’t serious about it until we are in our late 30s, figuring out work, family, responsibilities, and above all, the impending list of lifestyle diseases. Taking the proverb seriously from the beginning of our lives makes it much easier to maintain a fit body and juggle well between family and work. However, it’s never too late. So if you are also among the many who are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle amidst odds and understanding what all contributes to it, this blog is for you.
Firstly, we should understand what factors to include when discussing a healthy lifestyle. To begin with, a healthy lifestyle is a combination of nutritious food, exercise, and stress management. Food is the basis of every living being, and it’s also the element that is 80% responsible for a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many distractions, such as binge eating, junk food, stress eating, etc., will take you away from your fitness goals.
Some of us use spreads to spice our food and satisfy our taste buds. However, store-bought spreads such as ketchup may not be a healthier option. Instead, we can switch to an extremely healthy yet nutritious spread that will instantly make the food delectable and soothe our taste buds. It’s called hummus.
‘Hummus’ is an authentic middle eastern food that is becoming popular these days all over the world because of its health benefits. The primary ingredient of this dish is chickpea which is well known for its exceptional nutritional benefits. This dish comes under the category of plant-based protein. We all understand the value of protein because of its contribution as a building block of our body’s nutritional needs.
Hummus is a rich, creamy paste that has a peculiar yet flavorful, garlicky, tangy, and savory taste. Most often, it’s a favorite spread for crispy bread and a yummy yet nutritional dip for your baked or steamed veggies.
Chickpea is the base ingredient of hummus, packed with significant amounts of fiber, protein, vitamin B6, manganese, and other nutrients. There are different ways to prepare hummus; thus the nutritional value varies with the proportion of ingredients used.
Hummus is low in fat and calories while being rich in protein. It provides energy without increasing the weight. The content of healthy fats in hummus makes it a healthy source of mono-saturated and polyunsaturated fats. Those fighting high cholesterol levels may decrease the risk of a heart attack by incorporating such dishes into their food habits. Hummus is power packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, zinc, iron, and vitamin C.
Here is a nutrition list of 100 gm hummus at a glance-
Protein- 10.71 g
Healthy Fats- 8.93 g
Carbohydrate- 28.57 g
Fiber- 7.1 g
Calcium- 71 mg
Iron- 2.57 mg
Sodium- 607 mg
Small amount of-
20 essential Amino Acids, that include large dosages of Tryptophan,
Phenylalanine and Tyrosine
Hummus has impressive health benefits that will persuade you to add this tasty spread to your cuisine. It fights inflammation, improves blood sugar and digestion, lowers heart disease risk, and aids in weight loss. Despite having health benefits, the quantity of intake should be specific. As the US Department of Agriculture states, one cup of hummus (246gms) contains approximately 408 calories. Extending the required quantity of hummus can cause stomach issues in a few people. If consumed in moderation can help weight management. Other than this there are other benefits also, let us discuss one after the other.
There are 20 amino acids, including large dosages of Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, and Tyrosine, that help produce serotonin and thus improve mood. Omega 3 fatty acid is also present in hummus that helps fight anxiety and depression.
Inflammation in the body is a sign associated with numerous chronic diseases. Ingredients like sesame seeds and olive oil help control inflammation. Most of the hummus spread has a generous sprinkle of white sesame seeds in the form of tahini and a drizzle of olive oil to fight inflammation and keep you healthy.
We already know that a high fiber and protein diet can help us keep our weight in check. Both these nutrients help suppress hunger pangs and prevent overeating. Hummus is rich in protein and fiber hence can prevent unhealthy weight gain and maintain a slender body.
Anemia is the lack of iron in our body that can hamper our daily chores. Tiredness can take over our routines and be a huge threat to leading an everyday life. However, hummus can be a life savior because the main ingredient, chickpea, is an iron-rich food. It helps blood carry oxygen to different parts of the body. When hummus is added to your diet, it becomes easy to fight iron deficiency.
Chickpeas being the main ingredient of hummus make it rich in soluble fibers and thus help control cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil added to this dish is an add-on because of its good cholesterol and antioxidant properties.
Protein is essential for our body as it’s our building block. The key ingredient in hummus is chickpea which is high in protein and helps to strengthen bones and muscles.
Our digestive system craves for fiber since it’s essential to eliminate waste and absorb the nutrients of the food. Chickpea being rich in fiber helps the gut and improves digestion. Regular consumption of hummus promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut that helps improve digestion.
Low glycemic index is essential for maintaining sugar levels. Chickpea is one such food that contains special fat that slows down the sugar release in the blood. As a result, a healthy sugar level is maintained.
Healthy cell division is a must to prevent cancer in any human body. Foods that contain folate and fiber like hummus support healthy cell distribution and prevent cancer cell growth.
Hummus is made with a combination of various ingredients like lemon and garlic, which have high antioxidant properties that boost immunity and reduce the chances of infections. Adding lemon, garlic, sesame seeds, and olive oil enhances its taste and contributes antioxidants that fight infection and keep diseases at bay.
Now that you understand the exceptional benefits and the extraordinary taste of hummus, you may want to try it, right? Wait, you don’t need a trip to the supermarket because we bring you the recipe of authentic Lebanese hummus that’s sure to be the main attraction of the dining table, regardless of the occasion. So let’s get cooking.
Chickpea- 15 oz
Tahini- 2 tablespoons(tbsp)
Lemon Juice- 2 to 3 tablespoons (tbsp)
Garlic (finely chopped)- 1 teaspoon (tsp)
Salt- as required
Baking Soda (optional)- 1 pinch
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Steps to Prepare Hummus at Home
- Begin by washing and then soaking chickpeas overnight so that they cook easily
- Heat ample water in a heavy bottom pan and add chickpeas to it
- Check if it’s thoroughly cooked, and then drain off excess water
- Add the boiled chickpea to a food processor and grind it until coarse
- Now add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt
- Grind the mixture until smooth
- Taste the prepared hummus to see if you need more lemon juice or salt
- Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and give the food processor a quick churn
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl
- Garnish it with a circular drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, paprika, and parsley
- Serve cold or at room temperature to experience the best flavor
Patience takes you a long way, so wait there and read the following tips also before proceeding to whip the healthy hummus. Have a look-
- You can also use canned chickpeas and add them straight to the food processor to save time
- Use a food processor to blend rather than a blender to achieve the right consistency of a hummus
- Try using fresh ingredients to get the authentic taste of hummus
- If soaking or boiling the chickpea, do not throw away the excess water; use it to thin the hummus or add to other preparations for added nutrients
- Do not shy away from spicing your hummus; try adding roasted bell peppers, paprika, etc., for that spicy punch
- Adding basil and sun-dried tomatoes can also be bliss in the hummus
- If you are an avocado-lover, blend it in because it goes great with the chickpeas and other flavorings in hummus
- Store hummus in air-tight container, it will easily last for a week
Anything consumed more than the required quantity creates trouble in our bodies. Similarly, hummus is a healthy snacking option but may not provide the desired benefits if we take it in large amounts.
Adding more than one serving is not a great option because it adds to the daily calorie intake. Too much hummus can lead to an upset stomach or issues like diarrhea. One cup of hummus contains 15gms of fiber, which is 59 percent of the required daily consumption. Being mindful while having hummus is the key if you don’t want to add on the calories.
Hummus is an excellent spread or dip, as you like to have it. It provides immense benefits, and adding it to your daily routine will help cleanse the gut and live an energetic life. However, as we know, excess of everything isn’t good; the same is for hummus. If you keep a check on your hummus intake, you can benefit from its nutritional properties, so have it but with a tad bit of control.