Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern street food and Mediterranean staple that has made waves in American cuisine, especially among vegetarian eaters. Though Mediterranean food is known to be low in saturated fats and sugars, is Mediterranean food — and falafel — actually healthy?

Here’s what you should know about your favorite falafel options and if the best Mediterranean food Houston has to offer is actually healthy.

What is falafel?

Falafel is a vegetarian dish made from deep-fried chickpeas or fava beans. It often takes the form of a ball, a flat patty, or a doughnut-shaped treat for easy eating on the go. With Mediterranean take out options becoming more popular, you can eat this delicious dish on the run or snuggled up at home.

Of course, a deep-fried or oven-baked chickpea ball isn’t great without a number of flavors and Mediterranean spices. Falafel typically incorporates herbs and spices, including onion, parsley, cumin, coriander, scallions, and garlic for a medley of complex flavors. They’re often eaten on their own to be shared among friends, but can also be incorporated into a pita with tahini, lettuce, cucumbers, and more for an indulgent treat.

The history of falafel is not easily traced. Like most popular Mediterranean staples, many countries claim to have been the first inventors of the delicacy. In fact, more than 20 countries border the Mediterranean Sea alone. Egyptians claimed that they created falafel more than 1,000 years ago, but others claim the food came from the Indian subcontinent. Regardless of where the food was created, countless Americans are happy to enjoy this Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine at their local falafel restaurant.

Is it healthy?

Even though falafel is a deep-fried treat, it’s still one of the most healthy foods available at your Mediterranean restaurant. This is because chickpeas are considered a superfood; the little legume is packed with protein, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin C, zinc, copper, manganese, and more. When it’s put into a pita with other healthy ingredients, you’re getting one of the best meals for bodily health available. This makes it a popular option for vegetarians and vegans who want to boost their protein intake and supplement their body with healthy nutrients.

Are you looking to try falafel? Visit the healthy Mediterranean restaurant Houston trusts: at Aladdin’s, we offer the best Mediterranean Cuisine around, Halal, and falafel around. Order online or contact us today for more information on catering.