Are you tired of eating bland foods during pregnancy? Craving for some good ol’ hummus? Well, craving is part of pregnancy and most of us can’t resist it. So, the question shifts, is hummus safe to eat while pregnant? Does it have any benefits? Get the answers to these questions here, read our post.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish, which consists of blended and pureed chickpeas, lemon juice, and garlic. It is a healthier option than other calorie-laden dips. It has the essential nutrients you need to support your pregnancy.
While there is no question about its nutritional value, there is some debate regarding its safety during pregnancy. So can you include hummus in your diet? Well, the good news is that you do not need to give up on hummus altogether. You only need to take a few precautions to ensure that it does not harm the fetus.
Benefits Of Hummus During Pregnancy
Before we talk about what precautions you need to take as an expecting mom, here are some benefits of eating hummus while pregnant.
1. Protein-Rich Source:
A tablespoon of hummus contains 1.2 grams of protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that you need during pregnancy. Your fetus grows through the rapidly dividing cells and eating protein rich foods supports the growth.
[ Read: Protein Rich Foods During Pregnancy ]
2. Digestive Health:
One tablespoon serving of hummus contains 1 gram of dietary fiber. Consuming more fiber decreases the risk of constipation, a common ailment during pregnancy. The fiber bulks up stool and regulates your bowel movements. High fiber also means you feel less hungry.
3. Folic Acid:
A serving of hummus gives you a whopping 12 micrograms of folic acid. A deficiency of folic acid prevents your unborn baby’s neural tube for closing, causing spina bifida and other birth defects. So you must eat folate-rich foods or supplements in high quantities.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most potent nutrients present in hummus. Omega-3s offer a multitude of benefits to you and your unborn baby.
5. Other Nutrients:
Hummus is rich in calcium, iron, and potassium. Calcium helps the baby’s bone development, and iron will boost his blood supply. Potassium will contribute to the development of your baby’s brain.
[ Read: Calcium Rich Foods During Pregnancy ]
Side Effects Of Eating Hummus During Pregnancy
A possible danger of eating hummus is the presence of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium can lead to a dangerous infection Listeriosis. The virus inflicts more than 1,600 people every year and can cause severe illness in people with weak immune systems. Store bought hummus is the breeding ground of this deadly bacterium. It can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, and premature delivery. Listeria monocytogenes grows when you don’t refrigerate hummus properly. To protect yourself from this bacterium, make sure you consume hummus within two to three days of purchase.
The symptoms of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes include:
- Swollen face
Unfortunately, there is no way to check for contamination before purchasing hummus. Contamination is rare, but you should not rule out its possibility altogether. To reduce the risk, make your hummus at home.
To enjoy hummus and keep the risk of infection at bay, the best thing you can do is prepare it at home. Here is the simplest way to make hummus at home.
You Will Need:
- 2 cups organic chickpeas
- 1-cup tahini
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Soak the chickpeas overnight.
- Boil the chickpeas for two hours. Strain and leave it aside.
- Process the chickpeas in a food processor along with the other ingredients.
- Serve with veggie sticks.
Be careful about the types of foods you eat during pregnancy, even if you ate them earlier. Hummus is an extremely healthy snack that you can incorporate into any meal. But you have to consume it safely.
So why wait, go ahead and share the post with other mommies to be. Did you eat hummus in pregnancy? Is your doctor for or against hummus? Tell us below.
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