OK, so hummus is good for you. But what about falafel and tahini? And all that olive oil? Lets shed some light.
Recently, a few people asked me about the nutritional benefits of other middle-eastern dishes, such as falafel, tahini and olive oil. So here are the basic facts.
Olive oil nutritional value
I’ll start from the later, which is probebly better known to many of you.
Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest sources of fat, due to it’s high contance of Oleic Acids and Anti-Oxcidends (Polyphenols and Viamine E).
This alone is a key combination that is crucial for the prevention of heart desease and cancer. In medditeranian and middle-eastern traditional medicine, olive oil had dozenss of uses, some of which I might mention in a later post. Anayhow, olive oil is an important ingredient in the “Medditarenian Diet”, which has proven benefits for overwighted people, and also helps to prevent heart sickness.
Tahini nutritional value
Tahini is nothing less than a nutritional pearl. Not only is it a superb source for healthy fat, rich in Omega 3, but it is also rich in Calcium, Iron, Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamine and – very much like hummus – some crucial Amino Acids. Combined with hummus, it is a potential supplement for SSRI anti-depressant medicine, such as Prozac (as I already explained in my post Hummus instead of Prozac)
Falafel nutritional value
Falafel is complicated. When made right, deep fried in oil of good quality, it is almost nutritionally similar to hummus – with the exception of not having tahini as one of it’s ingredients. The long cooking process is not effecting the Vitamin C in the chickpeas, which is present both in hummus and in falafel.
The falafel does not contain tahini, so it lacks some of the nutritional benefits hummus has, but it contains lots of Iron and Calcium, and if done properly – with lots of garlic, parsley and coriander – many other minerals as well.
If you eat falafel outside, it’s especially important to check that the place is clean and the oil does not smell bad. With lots of vegetable salad and a pita bread around it, falafel could make a very nice and nutritious meal.