Hummus is a popular delicacy which originates from Middle Eastern countries. It is originally made with chickpeas, mashed and mixed together with olive oil, salt, lemon juice, garlic and ground paste from sesame seeds called tahini. It has a very subtle taste and is said to contain a very low amount of calories and fats. Attributing to its low fat content, hummus could very well be a contender in food choices that help lessen the occurrence of acid reflux, which may even worsen to a condition called GERD or gatroesophageal reflux disease as a result of recurrent acid reflux and heartburn.
Inherently acidic, spicy and fatty foods are typically characteristic of foods that may trigger acid reflux and its chronic form known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Citrus fruits, chocolates, tomato-based products, cayenne pepper and fatty meats are examples of such foods. These foods play a huge role in relaxing the LES or lower esophageal sphincter, which acts like a doorway opening to allow the passage of food into the stomach and a security lock that keeps the food particles in as they are churned in the stomach together with stomach acids during digestion.
The relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter prevents it from fully closing, thus allowing an amount of acids to shoot out from the stomach into the esophagus. This acid reflux further causes a burning sensation in the chest called heartburn accompanied by a bitter or acidic taste right at the back of the mouth. When this happens regularly, gastroesophageal reflux disease arises. Hummus, although laden with oils from the sesame seed and olive oil (considered healthy oils), does not contain overly fatty ingredients which may aggravate acid reflux and GERD.
The nutritional value of ¼ cup commercially processed hummus is different from that prepared right at home in the same amount. Commercial hummus is said to contain 6 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and a total of 100 calories. Home prepared hummus at ¼ cup, on the other hand, has 5 grams fat, 15.5 grams carbohydrates, 2.5 grams fiber, 3 grams protein and up to 110 calories.
Hummus, with its nutritional value and rather subtle taste, is among the foods generally least expected to cause acid reflux. However bodily conditions vary per individual and there are some who might claim that they get acid reflux by consuming hummus. In these cases, people who do not swear by hummus may opt for substitutes to it like a strained yogurt dip which contains relatively low calorie and fat, also known as the Greek tzatziki. And for home made hummus preparation, it is advised to lessen olive oil and tahini.
Whether one already suffers from acid reflux or simply wishes to prevent the condition before it even occurs, it is always highly beneficial to determine which foods to include in one’s diet. While hummus has virtually no triggering effect on acid reflux and its symptoms, it would be best to first test whether or not it would create a considerable change in the bodily processes before fully assimilating it into your food choices.