Hummus is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is a dip that is typically made out of mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground hulled sesame seeds), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Other variations can include herbs and spices such as paprika, basil, or turmeric.
Aside from being a delicious dip or spread for vegetables and bread, hummus has been gaining recognition as a healthy food that can aid in weight loss. In fact, a recent study cited by Women’s Health indicated that people who have incorporated hummus into their diet are generally healthier than people who don’t. The study also showed that despite having the same calorie intake, they have smaller waists and weigh less overall.
Take a look at why it might be time to go on a grocery run for hummus and chickpeas.
One of the main components of chickpeas that has a slimming effect is fiber. An NCBI study on the nutritional value of chickpeas found that the legume has a high content of dietary fiber which promotes gut health. It facilitates bowel movement, relieves constipation, and helps maintain weight. Fiber is often found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and legumes. The next time you’re feeling a little bit bloated or “blocked”, snacking on some fiber-rich vegetables and hummus is a tasty solution.
There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates—found in sugar, cereals, white bread, etc.—are easier to digest. Medical News Today explains that since they are used up faster, it means that you also get hungry quicker and end up overeating. Chickpeas are rich in complex carbohydrates or slow-digesting carbohydrates that provide the body with energy over a longer period of time. Unlike the bad carbohydrates, complex carbs generally have a low glycemic index. This means that it will not elevate your blood sugar which can cause your weight to fluctuate as the excess energy gets stored into fat.
As you may know from my recent post on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Build a Butt Challenge”, protein is an essential element of bodybuilding. When you start to work out, it is easy to get carried away with running on the treadmill. The more miles you log, the more weight you lose, right? But, the body also eats up muscle along with fat which often frustrates people as they don’t see a toned body in the mirror. This is why strength and conditioning should also be part of your workout and protein is the main macronutrient that will help build and repair the muscles. Hummus is packed with protein that can help burn fat and sculpt muscles.
You can combine it with certain kinds of meat to increase protein. Entertainment Daily claims that hummus can be paired with lean proteins such as chicken or turkey and whole-grain bread for more slow-digesting carbohydrates. You can use hummus as a spread to replace mayonnaise, which is one of the most unhealthiest of foods out there.
For vegetarians looking for a quick light snack, you can dip celery, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers or any other vegetable you like into hummus. Enjoy hummus, and also enjoy losing weight!