If you’re anything like us then a good Friday night involves eating your way through an entire tub of hummus, and then having to lie down to think about your life choices.
The Middle Eastern dip grown in popularity in the UK so much so over the last decade, that in April this year, customers were forced to wipe their tears with dry pitta bread when supermarkets experienced a nationwide hummus shortage. Won’t someone think of the chickpeas?
Thankfully stocks have now recovered, so in celebration we are here to give you seven reasons why we should all be eating more hummus.
1. It could reduce your appetite.
If you are looking to curb those mid-afternoon hunger pangs and lose weight, eating hummus may not be such a bad shout. Research has found that eating foods containing polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), such as hummus, walnuts and salmon, may alter our hunger hormones and prevent us from overeating.
Note, this does not mean you can eat a family-size sharing tub by yourself.
2. It could help you lose weight.
If you stick to hummus made only with the original six ingredients (tahini, chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt) then it is totally plant-based and suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
And this is good for potential weight loss, as a study from the European Association For Study Of Diabetes found that people eating vegetarian diets lose twice as much weight as dieters following a calorie-restricted non-plant-based diet.
3. It reduces your risk of heart disease.
As we are bombarded with information about many foods containing dangerously high volumes of salt – home-cooked foods, supermarket sandwiches, and even crumpets – we’re always looking for something to help protect our heart health.
In a 2016 study published in Nutrition Journal, said that as pulses, such as chickpeas, are a low glycemic index (GI) food, they are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and make hummus a winner.
4. It is a snack recommended by the NHS.
If we trust anyone to give us good snack advice, it’s the medical professionals.
The NHS recommends hummus (with wholemeal pitta or vegetable sticks) as a healthy snack to rely on during the day when hanger strikes. That is because hummus is not high in bad fats or sugar, unlike the contents of your vending machine.
5. It can help lower your cholesterol.
Hummus traditionally contains garlic and not only is this delicious food good at giving us bad breath (sorry everyone), it is also known as a superfood.
This means that it has health-giving properties, including causing a “modest reduction” in people’s cholesterol levels, according to a scientific review from 2009. The research looked at 1,794 participants and concluded that garlic (specifically garlic powder) lowered their cholesterol. Pass the hummus!
6. It can help prevent cancer.
Once again we have garlic to thank for coming to our rescue. According to a 2007 World Cancer Research Fund review, garlic “probably protects against” bowel and stomach cancers.
Information from the UK’s National Cancer Institute agrees that several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, pancreas and breast.
7. Dessert hummus exists.
If we still haven’t convinced you to dive into a chickpea bonanza, then let us introduce you to dessert hummus, in flavours such as brownie batter, orange ginger, chocolate chip cookie dough and snickerdoodle.
Although it is suitable for vegans, and gluten free, we’ve got a feeling it won’t be quite as healthy as the original.