It is natural for women to develop a craving for certain types of foods during pregnancy. However, not all such foods are healthy- as it is. There is debate and uncertainty over the safety of eating certain types of foods in pregnancy. Hummus is one such example. It is essentially a dish with origin in the Middle East which comprises of pureed chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice. It is yummy, has nutrients and the creamy textured paste can be consumed in a number of methods.
Ways to eat Hummus
You can eat Hummus in a number of ways. A lot of women prefer to use it in lieu of mayonnaise on top of sandwiches. You can also dip flat breads and pita chips in it and eat. A woman who has conceived should use whole grain bread preferably. As an alternative, you can also dip raw vegetable pieces like carrot and celery in it and enjoy the bite. Some people add a small amount of hot sauce to enhance the taste. It is way better than munching on unhealthy fat laden snacks made with sugar and refined flour for sure.
Benefits of eating Hummus for a pregnant woman
Eating hummus can be really beneficial for anyone, including pregnant women. The major benefits are:
1. Source of Protein
Hummus is enriched with protein. Needless to say, during pregnancy your body needs a lot of protein for optimum health and proper fetus development.
2. Aids Digestion Process
Humus contains a fair amount of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre consumption brings down chance of developing constipation- a condition many pregnant women become subjected to. Foods with fibre also help fight hunger pangs to an extent.
3. Source of Folic Acid
Hummus is rich in folic acid. Lack of folic acid intake when you are pregnant can result in birth complications and an underdeveloped fetus.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Hummus contains Omega 3 fatty acids that offer a number of health benefits to a pregnant woman and the fetus in her womb. Women who cannot eat sea food should eat hummus for intake of this nutrient.
5. Essential Minerals
Hummus is replete with essential minerals that keep the human body healthy and help a pregnant woman remain in good condition. Its calcium helps in bone development of the fetus, for example. Potassium plays a pivotal role in the baby’s brain development and iron enhances blood supply.
6. Weight Management
Nutritionists feel that the protein rich nature of Hummus helps the eater fight hunger pangs. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. This in a way helps thwart excess weight gain in pregnant women.
Potential risks of eating Hummus during pregnancy
Despite the multiple health benefits, eating Hummus during pregnancy is not entirely safe. One risk is possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium leads to onset of Listeriosis- a serious infection. Women with weak immunity can be affected by it. The after effects can include premature delivery and miscarriage.
To evade the contamination, you should not eat hummus bought from stores. Even when you make hummus at home, do not store it for a long time. Sadly, there is no way to check for contamination.
Making hummus at home
To keep the risk of infection at bay and eat hummus safely when you are pregnant, you should prepare it at home. You will need ingredients like:
- Dried chickpeas
- Sesame tahini
- Raw garlic
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice
Way to prepare
- You will need to soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain the water and rinse them in the morning. Boil them in a sauce pan next.
- Cook until they get tender.
- While draining the boiled chickpeas, save some of the water in a pot.
- Now blend the boiled chickpeas with all ingredients in a blender well. The mixture should be creamy and smooth. You may add some water if required.
- You may add some roasted garlic to the puree for enhancing the flavour.
- Eat as much as you want and then store the rest in an airtight container. This container should be kept in the fridge. You may serve with some olive oil on top.