Integrative Nutrition Blog
Is Hummus Healthy For You?
Have you ever wondered if those little tubs of hummus you find at the grocery store are actually healthy for you? Hummus is marketed as a healthy snack option, but is it really? If you’re anything like us you’re probably hoping that the answer is yes! Hummus is super delicious and dresses up any veggie when used as a dip. Hummus is also a tasty snack that most kids enjoy which makes getting them to eat their veggies that much easier.
The great news is that, generally speaking hummus is an excellent healthy snack option. However, you do have to be careful when buying store bought hummus. Depending on what hummus you buy, it may be best to make your own at home to ensure you’re actually getting the health benefits hummus provides. Let’s take a look into why hummus is healthy, and how you can be sure you’re actually getting the healthiest hummus available.
Top 4 Reasons Why Hummus Is a Great Choice
Helps with Weight Management: If you are looking for healthy snack options to help with your weight loss goals, hummus is an excellent choice. The chickpeas in hummus are packed with fiber which helps promote satiety, prevents overeating, and boosts the digestive system. There was even a study done back in 2014 published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences that found that those who chose hummus as a healthy snack had a 53% lower chance of being obese and a 51% lower chance of having high blood sugar as opposed to those who don’t eat hummus!
Hummus is a High Protein Snack: If you are looking to increase your protein intake, humus packs a whopping 4 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving, which makes hummus a great source of plant based protein. Hummus is especially helpful for those following a vegan diet and need an extra protein boost. Protein is needed for nearly every process in the body, and snacking on a healthy food such as hummus can help to replace protein stores, which makes it a great pre- or post-workout snack.
Hummus Makes an Excellent Spread: Hummus is an excellent alternative to mayonnaise, or other processed spreads on sandwiches, wraps, or buns. With a wide variety of flavors, hummus can be a delicious complement to any healthy sandwich or veggie wrap, and can even be used as a base for a healthier chicken salad! Try mixing garlic hummus with mashed avocado for a healthy spread packed with fiber, healthy fat, and protein.
Hummus is Incredibly Easy to Make: Hummus is one of those foods that anyone can make. It only takes a handful of ingredients, and 5 minutes of your time to whip up a delicious and nourishing snack. All you need is a food processor, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Simply blend all of the ingredients together, and you have yourself a delicious hummus full of health benefits!
The Top 3 Things to Look for When Purchasing Hummus
While hummus is generally a very healthy food choice, if you are buying hummus from the grocery store there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the healthiest option available.
- Stick to a hummus that has limited ingredients. A general rule of thumb is that if you see a food label with a long list of ingredients, chances are some of those ingredients aren’t healthy. Stick to a brand that contains only whole foods. You will want to see chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and tahini on the food label and that’s about it.
- Avoid additives. You will want to make sure the food label does not contain any additives such as potassium sorbate, artificial flavors, colorings, or benzoates. These are additives often found in store bought hummus may extend its shelf life or make it look pretty but can cause unwanted side effects, from inflammation to skin issues.
- Check what kind oil is used. You have to be careful with store bought brands, as many manufactures may choose to use cheaper oils, like canola, vegetable, or soybean oil, when making their hummus. These processed oils can cause inflammation, are primarily genetically modified, and contain harmful polyunsaturated fats. Make sure you to purchase a hummus made with olive oil and tahini since these are two of the ingredients that gives hummus its anti-inflammatory properties!
When made properly with wholesome ingredients, hummus is super healthy for you, easily accessible, affordable, and can be used in a variety of ways to boost the flavor of many meals. If you are looking for a healthier spread, a creamy dressing, or an indulgent dip, hummus is a great choice. Plus, with the variety of flavors you can create, you really can’t go wrong! You can add in just about any herb or spice you want to reach the flavor you desire. If you have never made hummus before, and want to see just how easy it is follow the recipe below!
Basic Hummus Recipe:
- 1 (15) ounce can of chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Simply place all ingredients into a food processor, or a high speed blender, and blend until smooth.
- That’s it! This is a basic recipe, so feel free to add in any herbs and spices to adjust the taste to your liking.
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy hummus, or a go-to recipe? Share with us in the comments below!