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One thing every woman is conscious about during pregnancy is food. Everyone has their own opinion on what pregnant women should eat and what they shouldn’t. So, confusions are bound to occur. If you have questions and concerns about consuming hummus during pregnancy, this is the place to be. Here, we will discuss if it is safe for you to eat hummus while you are pregnant, its health benefits, risks, etc. What are we waiting for then? Let’s get straight to the point.
Is It Safe to Eat Hummus During Pregnancy?
Hummus is a paste or a spread prepared from mashed chickpeas. It is flavoured with tahini, lemon squash, olive oil, garlic, and some salt. If you are sceptical about eating hummus when pregnant, you need not worry anymore because you can consume it. The nutrient value of this food comes complementary with its sumptuous taste if you prepare it fresh, pack and store it appropriately, and consume it only if you do not have an allergy towards any of the ingredients.
For those who are not allergic to the ingredients, this is the nutrition you would gain by consuming hummus.
Nutritional Value of Hummus
Is Hummus good to eat during pregnancy? The nutritional chart below is proof that hummus is a great food that can be added to your pregnancy diet. Here is the list of nutrients per 100 grams of hummus.
(please verify the table below)
|Nutrient||Amount (per 100 grams)|
|Vitamin C||2.2 mg|
Now, let’s take a look at the health benefits you can get by consuming hummus during pregnancy.
Benefits of Eating Hummus During Pregnancy
Hummus is a great energy food; therefore, it is often recommended for pregnant women. Its benefits incorporate:
1. Required Foetus Development
As per the chart above, 100 grams of hummus contains over four grams of proteins. And, one should know that protein is an essential nutrient required during pregnancy. Proteins are the building blocks of the body’s cells, and the same case applies to the foetus. Therefore, it is essential to have enough protein, especially during the second and the third trimesters.
2. Improved Digestion
Hummus is a rich source of dietary fibre. As a matter of fact, the more the fibre consumption, the better the digestion. If you are pregnant and suffering from constipation, you can eat hummus with fibre-rich vegetables, such as carrots, to help bring the digestive system back on track.
3. Reduces Chances of Birth Defects
A good dose of folic acid is a must during pregnancy to prevent the chances of developing neural tube defects (defects associated with the foetus’ spinal cord and the brain). A foetus is prone to neural defects mostly in the first trimester, and the most common ones include spina bifida and anencephaly. Consuming hummus can help prevent these birth defects.
4. Bone Development
The most important part of a fetus’ growth is bone development. Hummus is rich in calcium and thus helps in strengthening the bones.
5. Helps Curb Prenatal Depression
Hummus is made from chickpeas, which have a nutrient called choline. Choline helps the brain and the nervous system function properly and is also important to control muscle, mood, and memory. Therefore, hummus can be a portion of great food for the mothers-to-be who are fighting prenatal depression.
Although hummus provides certain nutrients that are beneficial during pregnancy, there are some side-effects that you must be aware of before you scoop out a spoonful for yourself. Let’s find out what they are.
Risks and Side Effects of Consuming Hummus During Pregnancy
Though beneficial, hummus has some risks and side effects too. Packaged hummus could contain listeria; a bacteria that could pose a danger to you and the baby growing in your womb. The bacteria cause the immune system to weaken and leads to a disease called listeriosis. Therefore, we recommend that you prepare hummus at home and consume it while it is fresh.
In case you have consumed packaged hummus, you should check for symptoms of listeria, such as fever, rashes, swollen face, cough, or even cold. Consult your doctor immediately in case you observe any of these symptoms as listeriosis could lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, or stillbirth.
One of the ingredients in hummus is tahini sauce, which is made of sesame seeds. Therefore, women who are allergic to sesame seeds must avoid eating hummus. If you do notice symptoms like coughing, nausea, vomiting, flushing in the face, stomach pain, or difficulty breathing, your body has had an allergic reaction to the sesame seed paste, and you must seek medical attention immediately.
If you can eat hummus without worrying about the allergies, here’s how you can make some at home.
How to Make Hummus at Home
Irrespective of you being pregnant or not, always prefer preparing hummus at home, and eating it while it is still fresh. Follow the procedure given below to make some hummus at home.
- 2 cups of chickpeas
- 2 tbsp of tahini
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4th cup of lemon juice
How to Prepare
- Let the chickpeas soak in water overnight.
- Boil the chickpeas for about 2 hours and then strain the water.
- Grind the chickpeas along with the other ingredients in a food processor till you get a creamy texture.
- There you go! Your homemade hummus is ready!
Hummus is a great accompaniment for several foods. Here are some food combinations that go well with hummus and are safe to eat during pregnancy. As a precaution, always wash all the raw ingredients thoroughly before consuming or cooking them.
Foods You Can Eat With Hummus
You can enjoy freshly prepared hummus as a dip with pita bread. If you’re not into pita bread, you can replace it with vegetable sticks. Include carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, radish, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, etc. to make it even more healthy. Hummus can be a great sandwich spread too. Add some tomatoes and cheese to the sandwiches, and you’ll have a filling snack.
Hummus is a light, delicious, and nutritious spread that can be added to your pregnancy diet. However, you must always keep your dietary requirements in mind and never overeat anything during pregnancy. Moreover, always eat fresh hummus that is prepared at home and in moderate quantities to avoid any health issues.
Also Read: Calories Intake During Pregnancy