The Complete Guide to Hummus

Hummus has become a popular ‘accidentally’ vegan food in recent years, enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Traditionally made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, this Middle Eastern dip is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. However, as with any food, it’s important to understand both the health benefits and potential drawbacks of hummus. In this comprehensive article, I will explore everything you need to know about hummus, including its nutritional value, health benefits, disadvantages, and how to eat it. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of why hummus could potentially be considered somewhat of a ‘superfood’ and how you can incorporate it into your diet for optimal health.

smoked hummus

The Nutritional Value of Hummus

Hummus is a nutrient-dense food that is rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. A typical serving of hummus (2 tablespoons) contains approximately 70-80 calories, 2-3 grams of protein, and 2-3 grams of fibre. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

However, hummus is also relatively high in fat, with approximately 6-7 grams of fat per serving. While most of the fat in hummus comes from healthy sources like tahini and olive oil, it’s still important to be mindful of your total fat intake if you are watching your weight or cholesterol levels.

When it comes to store-bought versus homemade hummus, there are some differences in nutritional value. Store-bought hummus may contain additional preservatives, sodium, and sugars that are not present in homemade hummus. Additionally, some store-bought brands may use lower quality ingredients like soybean oil instead of olive oil, which can affect the overall nutritional value of the product. Therefore, it is recommended to make homemade hummus whenever possible to ensure the highest quality and nutrient content.

The Benefits of Hummus

Hummus offers a range of health benefits that make it an ideal addition to any diet. For one, it’s an excellent source of fibre (which can improve digestion and promote feelings of fullness), making it an effective tool for weight management. Additionally, the healthy fats in hummus, particularly the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which is important for heart health.

Research has also suggested that hummus may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Furthermore, hummus contains plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids, which are known to have antioxidant effects that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

While hummus is not a magic solution for burning belly fat specifically, incorporating it into a healthy diet can contribute to overall weight loss and a reduction in belly fat. There is scientific evidence that supports this claim, with one study finding that a high-fibre diet that included hummus reduced belly fat in overweight and obese individuals.

smoked hummus

The Health Disadvantages of Hummus

While hummus has many health benefits, it is important to be aware of potential drawbacks. One of the main concerns with hummus is its high sodium content, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. Store-bought hummus, in particular, can contain excessive amounts of sodium due to added preservatives and flavourings (so always make it at home if possible – maybe try this recipe? or even this wild garlic hummus?)

Smoked Hummus (With Caramelised Onions)
This Smoked Hummus recipe is a game-changer. Dip potato wedges or toasted pitta in to it and be transported to somewhere beautiful
Check out this recipe
smoked hummus with pita

Another potential drawback of hummus is that it can cause digestive issues in some individuals. This is because hummus contains oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that can be difficult for some people to digest. As a result, consuming large amounts of hummus can cause gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal discomfort.

It’s important to note that hummus and houmous are the same thing. The spelling “houmous” is simply an alternative way to spell the word, with both spellings referring to the Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and other ingredients. There is no difference in nutritional value between hummus and houmous.

In summary, while hummus is a healthy and delicious food, it’s important to be mindful of its sodium content and potential digestive issues. It’s best to consume hummus in moderation and to make your own homemade version whenever possible to avoid excess sodium and other additives.

How to Eat Hummus

Hummus is an incredibly versatile food that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It makes a great dip for vegetables, pita bread, crackers, and other snacks. It can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or wraps or as a topping for salads.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, hummus is traditionally served as part of a mezze platter, accompanied by flatbread, olives, and other small dishes. To prepare hummus in the traditional way, start by making a homemade batch of hummus using chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and other seasonings. Then, spoon the hummus onto a plate and use the back of a spoon to create a circular groove in the centre of the dip. Drizzle the groove with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or other seasonings for added flavour. Finally, serve the hummus with warm pita bread or other flatbread.

If you’re looking to incorporate hummus into a weight loss diet, there are several tips you can follow. First, choose fresh vegetables or whole-grain crackers as a dipper instead of processed snacks. You can also use hummus as a spread on sandwiches or wraps instead of mayonnaise or other high-fat spreads. Finally, be mindful of portion sizes and stick to small servings to avoid overconsumption of calories.

Hummus Related Frequently Asked Questions

How much hummus can I eat per day?

While there’s no hard and fast rule, it’s generally recommended to stick to small portions of hummus, as it is high in calories and fat. One to two tablespoons per serving is a good guideline.

How long can I keep fresh hummus in the fridge?

Homemade hummus can typically be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Store-bought hummus typically has a longer shelf life, ranging from 1-3 weeks.

Is hummus vegan and gluten-free?

Yes, hummus is both vegan and gluten-free. It is made primarily from chickpeas, tahini, and other natural ingredients, which are all plant-based and free from gluten.

Can hummus affect bowel movements and digestion?

For some people, consuming hummus can cause gas, bloating, or other digestive discomfort. This is likely due to the high fibre content of chickpeas and other ingredients in hummus. However, others may find that hummus actually helps with digestion, as it contains probiotics that can support a healthy gut.

Try My Wild Garlic Hummus

wild garlic hummus
Wild Garlic Hummus
This wild garlic hummus recipe is a delicious and nutritious twist on traditional hummus. Not only is it a great snack option, but it can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or wraps. Plus, the ingredients offer various health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins, and minerals.
Check out this recipe
Wild Garlic Hummus

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