Can You Eat Hummus When Pregnant?

close up visual of hummus with sesame seeds

Sharing is caring!

With pregnancy comes tons of questions about food, especially which foods are safe and which should be avoided for the next nine months. 

You probably already know that undercooked meat and runny eggs should be avoided, but what about hummus? Is this delectable Middle Eastern staple safe during pregnancy or is it a no-go? 

The answer is a bit more complicated than you may think. 

Read on to learn about the nutritional benefits of hummus during pregnancy, the concerns, and what the consensus is on whether you can eat hummus when pregnant.

Want to save this article? Click here to get a PDF copy of “Can You Eat Hummus When Pregnant?” sent straight to your inbox! 

Nutritional Benefits of Hummus During Pregnancy

First, let’s start with the good news! Good nutrition is vital when growing a little one inside of you, and hummus is a nutrition powerhouse for more than one reason.

Let’s take a closer look:


Think of protein as the building block for the body. Cell structure, tissue repair, biochemical reactions, energy production — protein plays a role in it all. Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that protein is needed to support your baby’s development during pregnancy. A quarter cup of hummus packs in 5 grams of protein.


If you’re one of the many women who suffer from constipation during pregnancy, fiber is going to be one of your good friends! Pair that hummus with whole grain bread and veggies for even more gut-friendly fiber to help get your bowels moving.

Healthy Fats

While dietary fat often has a negative connotation, you’ll be happy to learn that hummus has the heart-healthy kind. Plus, despite what 90’s era fat diets liked to say, you actually should eat some healthy fats every day! Add a drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil to your hummus and sprinkle with paprika — perfecto!

Vitamins and Minerals

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of every vitamin and mineral you’ll find in hummus, these ones stand out:

  • Iron: Your iron needs increase during pregnancy as you have a greater blood volume and are supplying oxygen to your baby (1).
  • Folate: Folate helps prevent neural tube defects, in particular spina bifida, in babies (2). 
  • Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte with many functions in the body, including playing roles in fluid balance and muscle contractions (3). 
  • Calcium: Calcium helps to build your baby’s bones. It’s so important that if you don’t consume enough of this mineral, your growing baby will leech calcium stores from your body to meet his or her own needs (4). 
  • Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can interfere with your baby’s development in the womb (5).
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect your body against free radicals (6). 
  • Zinc: Zinc supports the body’s immune system and plays a role in building cells and the creation of DNA (7). Pregnant women have increased zinc requirements. 

Just a note — although hummus is teeming with vitamins and minerals, that doesn’t mean you can skip your prenatal vitamin! Keep taking your prenatal in order to ensure you’re meeting both your and your growing baby’s nutritional needs throughout your pregnancy. 

visual of hummus nutrition facts featuring a table showing calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in 1/4 cup versus 100 g of hummus

Importance of Food Safety During Pregnancy

There are certain times in the life cycle when food safety is even more critical than usual, and pregnancy is one of them.

Unfortunately, foodborne illness can result in health problems (and even death) for both mother and baby. Your immune system is weaker during pregnancy so it’s harder for your body to fight off food poisoning. 

Even if you feel okay, the baby that you’re carrying may still suffer adverse effects from foodborne illness. This can lead to premature labor, miscarriage, or stillbirth. 

Making sure that you follow food safety guidelines and avoiding foods that are known to have a higher risk for food poisoning can protect you and, in turn, that little bun in your oven. 

I’ll share some specific food safety guidelines that you can take with hummus below. 

Eating Hummus When Pregnant: Specific Concerns

Now that we know about the nutritional benefits of hummus, what are the specific concerns regarding eating hummus while pregnant?


One risk we see with hummus is the possibility of it being contaminated with a bacteria called Listeria. 

According to the CDC, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get a Listeria infection than non-pregnant people (8).  While you might only notice a headache or chills if you are infected, it can be disastrous for your pregnancy – resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth, or preterm delivery. 

There have been a number of recalls of hummus related to Listeria contamination over the years:


Salmonella contamination in hummus is another risk. Contaminated food may appear and smell normal but cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. 

Dehydration from ongoing vomiting and diarrhea can lead to preterm delivery. In rare cases, Salmonella can cross the placenta and infect the baby growing inside you.

Here are some examples of hummus recalls due to Salmonella concerns:

Eating Hummus While Pregnant: Recommendations

So what’s the verdict? 

Can you eat hummus when pregnant or is it too risky? 

The answer actually varies from country to country! 

Hummus is not on the list of foods to avoid according to health agencies in the US, UK, and Canada. In fact, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) even recommends hummus with raw vegetables or whole wheat pita as a healthy snack idea during pregnancy. 

New Zealand, Australia, and Israel, however, say that pregnant women should avoid hummus – with certain caveats.

The Israeli Ministry of Health recommends that women avoid store-bought hummus during pregnancy. Homemade hummus, on the other hand, is considered generally safe if eaten within two days of preparation. 

New Zealand and Australia advise against consuming hummus and tahini during pregnancy, without differentiating between store-bought and homemade hummus.

can you eat hummus when pregnant infographic with recommendations according to different health agencies and tips for making eating hummus when pregnant safer

The Safest Ways to Eat Hummus When Pregnant

If you really want to indulge in your cravings for this healthy dip while pregnant, follow these tips to stay as safe as possible:

  • Avoid store-bought and restaurant-prepared hummus. Instead, make fresh hummus at home. 
  • Wash your hands well before making hummus (or any other food, for that matter).
  • If you’re making your hummus at the same time as doing other food preparation, make sure that you use separate cutting boards and utensils (especially for raw fish and meat) to avoid cross-contamination. 
  • Adding fresh herbs to your hummus? Make sure that you wash them well! The same goes if you want to blend some vegetables in with those chickpeas.
  • Wash the outside of your lemon before cutting it. Otherwise, you’re knife is just dragging any bacteria from the outside of your lemon inside with it as it slices the fruit. 
  • Refrigerate your hummus right away. Don’t leave it sitting out on the counter.
  • Keep hummus stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator at or below 40℉ /4℃. Keep a digital refrigerator thermometer in your fridge so you won’t have to guess the temperature. 
  • During pregnancy, eat fresh hummus (and other leftovers/cooked foods) within two days. 

Bottom Line

Can you eat hummus when pregnant? 

It’s generally safe to eat hummus while pregnant, but certain cautions should be taken. 

It’s safer to avoid store-bought hummus during pregnancy and instead make your own hummus at home. Just make sure that you follow proper food-handling techniques when preparing your hummus, such as washing your hands and avoiding cross-contamination.

Store your homemade hummus at or below 40℉ /4℃ in your refrigerator. Make sure that you eat it within two days if you’re pregnant. 

Want to save this article? Click here to get a PDF copy of “Can You Eat Hummus When Pregnant?” sent straight to your inbox! 

Website | + posts

Meredith Mishan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 12 years of experience working with nutrition clients from around the world. She has a Master of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University and is credentialed as a dietitian in both the United States and Israel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select your currency
Israeli new shekel