Is Hummus the Best Snack Food Ever?
If the secret to a healthy diet is to keep your kitchen and fridge stocked only with low-calorie, low-glycemic-index, high-nutrient foods, then it’s very likely that few of your favourite snacks make the list.
Do you like to dip tortilla chips in salsa, or look for the latest flavour of potato chips on the grocery store shelf, or think that there is nothing – and we mean nothing – better than chocolate? Then you’ll have to do a lot of exercise to burn off the extra calories. And find a way to counteract the increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, stiffening of the arteries, premature aging, high cholesterol, arthritis, liver disease and cancer. Oh, and obesity too.
Healthy Snack Foods
Fortunately, there are lots of options for healthy snack foods that make it pretty easy to switch your snack habits. From just about every kind of nut, to seeds, fruits and legumes, healthy snacking probably has as many different and delicious flavours as any other healthy part of your diet.
But have you ever eaten peanuts, or edamame beans, or walnuts, night after night? They’re great for the first while, but they can get a little “unexciting’ to say the least, especially when you’re trying to ween yourself off of the flavour rush from the chips and dip snack trip.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a healthy snack that packed as much flavour as your old stand-by’s and also be different every night?
Hooray for Hummus
If you know that bad snacking can ruin all your other health and weight loss efforts, but you find good snacking doesn’t excite your taste buds, try some hummus. It might be the best snack food ever, and here’s why:
It has Flavour to Savour
While there’s lots of different hummus recipes, even basic versions include flavour favourites like garlic, tahini, lemon, olive oil and, yes, even a pinch of salt.
After that, your imagination can go wild. Other hummus recipes spotted around the web included tamari, red peppers, greek yogurt, peanut butter, cilantro, chili peppers, artichokes and tomatoes.
It’s Very Versatile
Not only does having all these ingredients mean that there are virtually endless flavour options for every hummus you try, but you can eat it in almost as many different ways too.
In fact, you can make it part of your regular diet and not just for snacking.
From the standard pita bread dipping, you can use just about anything t scoop your hummus, including cucumbers, carrots and sweet peppers. But you can also add hummus to other dishes, like your favourite wrap; have it on toast with an egg for breakfast; spread it on a burger for lunch; add it to a mushroom soup; put it on a pizza; mix it into your mashed potatoes; stuff it into peppers; substitute it for cheese on broccoli; etc., etc., etc..
It’s Packed with Nutrition
The basic ingredient for hummus is chick peas, or garbanzo beans. Getting right down to the numbers, one cup of cooked garbanzo beans gives you the following daily values recommended for each nutrient:
273% – molybdenum
85% – manganese
71% – folate
64% – copper
50% – fibre
39% – phosphorus
29% – protein
26% – iron
23% – zinc
And that’s not to mention all the nutrients in everything else that’s in hummus, like the garlic and lemon juice.
Two nutrients of note are the high levels of fibre and protein in hummus, which help make you feel fuller for longer and offer an excellent substitute for red meats in your diet.
You Can DIY
Preparing your own foods at home is one of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating. You can prepare your own hummus from scratch in about 15 minutes, without any ‘cooking’. That means you can experiment and come up with your very own hummus recipes.
Despite what milk advertisers make you think, there’s no ‘perfect’ food, but if there was a vote for the most perfect snack, hummus would probably win (including the popular vote!). The nutritional consultants at your local Herbal One Centre can help you eat healthier, manage your weight, and find other great tasting and healthy snacks too.