Whether you can eat hummus during pregnancy or not is worth discussing. Hummus is a creamy dip used to make sandwiches and wraps healthy. It is prepared using boiled chickpeas. However, you can tweak its ingredients to make healthy hummus variations. But while it’s generally healthy, can you eat it during pregnancy?
Keep reading as we tell you more about the safety of this Middle Eastern dip for pregnant women, its healthy ingredients, and the possible side effects of hummus that an expecting woman can experience.
Is Hummus Safe To Eat During Pregnancy?
Hummus is a smooth spread, made with wholesome ingredients such as chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), and olive oil. This sauce is rich in fiber and protein, and low in calories, making it a healthy option for pregnant women (1).
However, it is better to consume fresh homemade hummus, instead of the store-made one. Also, avoid consuming stored or stale hummus that has been refrigerated for too long. Ideally, you should consume it as a dip with healthy snacks and not in huge quantities (2).
How Much Hummus Can You Have Per Day?
There is no recommended limit on hummus consumption for pregnant women. However, one to two tablespoons of hummus a day would be ideal. You may have it as a spread on a sandwich or as a dip with your vegetable sticks or crackers.
In the next section, we tell you about the nutrients in hummus.
Nutritional Value Of Hummus
The nutrient value of hummus is as follows (1).
|Nutrient||Value per 100g|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||83μg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.2mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.582mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.064mg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.180mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic acid)||0.132mg|
How are these nutrients helpful in pregnancy? Continue reading to know about it.
Nutrients In Hummus That Are Good For Pregnancy
The ingredients used to make hummus are rich in nutrients, so consuming this dip can be good for your health.
- Fiber: If you are having constipation, then consuming hummus, which is mainly made with chickpeas that are rich in fiber, might help keep your digestive system healthy (3).
- Folate: When you are pregnant, doctors advise you to take folic acid to support your baby’s health and reduce the risks of neural tube defects. Hummus is a good source of folate, which is a synthetic form of folic acid (4).
- Calcium: This nutrient is good for the development of bones, nerves, muscles, teeth, and heart. Hummus contains calcium, and consuming it could help add to your daily quota of calcium (5).
- Carbohydrates: Consuming healthy carbohydrates will help in controlling blood glucose levels. If the levels are uncontrolled, it could lead to health problems in you and the baby. Having hummus as a snack could help you in meeting the carbohydrates requirement (6).
You do not have to eat for two people when you are pregnant. What matters is whether you are eating right. Adding grain foods such as hummus could help you in gaining the extra energy you require as an expecting mom (7).
However, in some cases, eating hummus can result in side effects.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Hummus?
If the hummus is not freshly made, has been kept in the refrigerator for too long or has been purchased from a store, then it may have harmful bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria-contaminated hummus can be harmful to pregnant women. In rare cases, there could be health concerns for the babies too. However, with early diagnosis and medications, it is possible to prevent the infection (8).
Eating homemade hummus is the best way to prevent such risks.
Healthy Hummus Recipe To Try At Home
Making hummus takes only a few ingredients and a little time.
You will need:
- 125g dried chickpeas (soaked)
- Lemon juice
- 2tsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Garlic cloves
- Water as required
- Boil the chickpeas till they become tender.
- Drain the water and rest it for a while till it cools down.
- Grind the boiled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor until mixture becomes a smooth paste.
- You may add some water for a smooth consistency.
- Finally, add some olive oil and salt and give it a final mix.
Serve it with bread, salad, vegetable sticks, and anything to relish its taste and benefits.
Hummus is a healthy recipe containing proteins, fiber, calcium, healthy carbohydrates, and many other nutrients. Eating hummus during pregnancy is good for you and your baby because it helps to keep your digestive system clean and reduces the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus. Since hummus is a nutrient-dense food, adding it to your pregnancy diet allows you to get extra energy. However, remember to eat only fresh homemade hummus, as the one stored in the fridge for a long time may cause bacterial infections, causing adverse health conditions.
2. What can I eat? – gestational diabetes; Diabetes UK
3. Surprising Health Benefits of a Fiber-Rich Diet; Intermountain Healthcare (2016)
4. Q&A: Prenatal Vitamins; Family Care Health
5. Healthy Eating Guidelines for Pregnancy; Health Link British Columbia
6. Gestational Diabetes Meal Planning; Northwestern Medicine
7. Pregnancy and diet; Better Health Channel
8. Listeria Infection (Listeriosis); Mother To Baby (2018)