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LMU – 188 Unlocking the Nutritional Power of Chickpeas and Hummus


LMU – 188 Unlocking the Nutritional Power of Chickpeas and Hummus

Source: Journal Nutrients (2016)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (January 22, 2021)


In this Lifestyle Medicine Update, we’re diving into the world of chickpeas and hummus, shedding light on their exceptional nutritional value and health-boosting benefits. A comprehensive review paper published in the journal Nutrients in December 2016 has unveiled a wealth of evidence highlighting how these humble legumes can significantly enhance our well-being. From reducing cholesterol levels and blood sugar to aiding in weight management, chickpeas and their delicious derivative, hummus, are emerging as nutritional powerhouses.

The Chickpea Revelation

Chickpeas, scientifically known as garbanzo beans, are quietly taking center stage in the world of nutrition. These versatile legumes boast a remarkable profile, including plant-based protein, cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, colon-cleansing insoluble fiber, and a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. They are rapidly gaining recognition as a potent dietary addition that can fuel our bodies with health and vitality.

The Hummus Connection

In Western culture, chickpea consumption often aligns with the enjoyment of hummus. Traditional hummus is a delectable dip or spread crafted from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini (crushed sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. This savoury blend has become a beloved staple in many households, but its benefits extend far beyond its delightful taste.

Nutrient-Rich Duo

Studies reveal that individuals who incorporate chickpeas and/or hummus into their diets enjoy higher nutrient intake across various categories. These legume enthusiasts benefit from increased dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. These nutrient-packed additions can help address the dietary deficiencies observed in about 75% of North American adults, particularly those lacking in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and essential fatty acids.

A Rising Star

Over the past decade, the popularity of hummus in the United States has soared, with sales reaching a staggering $530 million by 2013. This remarkable growth, surging by over 25% since 2010, underscores the rising appreciation for the health-promoting qualities of chickpeas and hummus.

The Fiber Factor

Chickpeas and hummus are robust sources of dietary fiber, with a medium avocado providing an impressive 12 grams of this essential nutrient. Dietary fiber is often insufficient in the diets of both adults and children, making chickpeas and hummus valuable allies in bridging this nutritional gap. Moreover, the heat treatment required to create hummus significantly improves the protein quality of legumes like chickpeas, rendering them even more nutritious. This aspect is especially vital for vegans and those following plant-based diets.

Cholesterol Control

One of the standout benefits of chickpeas is their potential to lower cholesterol levels. Chickpeas are rich in soluble fiber, which effectively binds to cholesterol and bile acids in the gut, preventing their absorption into the bloodstream. This natural cholesterol-lowering mechanism supports heart and cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of related diseases.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chickpeas’ high fiber content also plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. The fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes and contributing to stable glucose levels throughout the day. By replacing starchy staples like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes with chickpeas, individuals can efficiently manage high blood sugar and enjoy sustained satiety post-meal.

Bowel Health Enhancement

Chickpeas have a remarkable impact on bowel health, with studies showing improvements in defecation frequency, ease, and stool consistency when individuals incorporate chickpeas into their diets. This boost in bowel function fosters overall gastrointestinal well-being and enhances the digestive experience.

A Culmination of Health Benefits

In summation, chickpeas and hummus are potent allies in the pursuit of better health. Regular consumption of these legumes offers a multifaceted approach to preventing and managing various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, they promote healthy weight management, making them a sensible addition to any diet.

Fostering Healthier Lifestyles

Given that 75% of the population falls short of consuming the recommended amounts of legumes weekly, embracing chickpeas and hummus as dietary staples emerges as a commonsense strategy to improve numerous health parameters and augment weight management efforts.


  1. Wallace TC, Murray R, Zelman KM. The nutritional value and health benefits chickpeas and hummus. Nutrients. 2016 Dec; 8(12): 766. [Read more](
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. James Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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