The time of pregnancy is very delicate and during this time it is very important to have a healthy diet. If you are pregnant, your body needs more nutrition so that your baby can grow well. If you already follow a healthy diet, then during pregnancy you will not need to change your diet much, except for some supplements and some special foods that your doctor has asked you to take during pregnancy. But then before consuming anything, you should ask your doctor once whether you can safely include that food item in your diet or not. In this article, we will discuss about consuming pumpkin during pregnancy, whether you can include it in your diet or not.
Pumpkin is one of the nutritious fruits, yes pumpkin is a fruit. However, the nutrients found in pumpkin are more similar to vegetables than fruits. But the question is whether pregnant women can consume it safely. Let’s find out!
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is very nutritious and contains vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, protein and minerals like omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc. It also has antioxidant properties. Consuming pumpkin seeds during pregnancy is very healthy for you. There are about 26 calories in 100 grams of Pumpkin and no cholesterol or saturated fat. It is a great fruit for pregnant women.
Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin During Pregnancy
As mentioned above, pumpkin provides a lot of nutrients, so you can include this fruit in your pregnancy diet. It contains a lot of essential nutrients that not only provide adequate nutrition to you but also to your baby. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Below are the benefits you can get from consuming pumpkin:
- Controls blood sugar level
Pumpkin works excellently to keep your blood sugar level under control during pregnancy. But if you want to take maximum advantage of pumpkin, then eat it plain without adding sugar to it.
- relieves constipation
Many women complain of constipation during pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, it also affects your digestive system due to which you have to face problems like constipation. If you want to get relief from constipation, then eat pumpkin. Since protein and fiber are present in good amounts in pumpkin, your digestive system works properly by consuming it and you do not have to face constipation.
- Relieves stomach cramps
Pumpkin works best to relieve stomach cramps during pregnancy. You can consume pumpkin in any form to get relief from pregnancy cramps.
Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds During Pregnancy
Like pumpkin, you also get many health benefits from pumpkin seeds. Read on to know the health benefits of consuming pumpkin seeds during pregnancy.
- control mood swings
Zinc is very beneficial for a pregnant woman and zinc is present in abundance in pumpkin seeds. Eating pumpkin seeds keeps your mood swings under control and even helps in improving your immunity.
- keep your heart healthy
Consuming pumpkin seeds is very good for your heart. You can include it in your pregnancy diet, it helps your heart to pump blood properly. Apart from this, they also help in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth.
- help you sleep better
If you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, try eating pumpkin seeds. Eating some pumpkin seeds before bed can help you sleep better. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds, converts into a sleep hormone called melatonin, which helps you sleep better. Therefore, if you have trouble sleeping at night, then definitely try this trick.
- Helps control gestational diabetes
Pumpkin seeds help in keeping the insulin levels in your body under control and thus controlling gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes – eating pumpkin seeds helps in controlling it.
- Helps in fetal brain development
Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. They also help in the development of the brain of the fetus. That’s why consuming pumpkin seeds is beneficial.
Side Effects of Eating Pumpkin During Pregnancy
Eating pumpkin during pregnancy is very beneficial for your health, but just like consuming too much of any other fruits and vegetables, complications can come if you consume pumpkin in excess. So the high fiber present in it can be harmful for your stomach. Sometimes, consuming pumpkin can also cause an allergic reaction that can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, vomiting or stomach cramps. However, there is no scientific proof of all these reactions occurring in pregnant women. Still, it is advised to include this fruit in your diet in limited quantities to avoid any complications during pregnancy.
You can make this pumpkin recipe during pregnancy
Here are some easy and scrumptious pumpkin recipes that you can try during pregnancy.
1. Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
If you are looking for an appetizing recipe, then this Pumpkin Soup is a great option for you and it becomes even healthier when it is made with lentils.
Here’s a recipe to make Pumpkin and Lentil Soup.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2-3 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 chopped onions
- 1 small pumpkin (about 700-800 grams), rind and seeds removed
- 1 cup or 100 grams red lentils
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- Salt and a pinch of sugar as per taste
- half cup fresh cream
how to prepare
- Heat some oil in a pan. Add onion to it and fry it till it turns golden brown.
- Now add chopped garlic, peeled pumpkin and lentils, stir it well.
- Now add vegetable stock to it and after mixing it well, cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, but keep stirring it in between.
- After some time when the pumpkin becomes little soft, turn off the flame and let it cool down.
- Once cooled, blend the pumpkin mixture, then add a little fresh cream and blend again.
- Take the soup in a bowl and garnish it with fresh cream.
2. Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
If you love eating pumpkin seeds, then we are sure you are going to love this mildly spiced recipe. Here’s a recipe on how to make spiced pumpkin seeds.
- 1½ cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- a pinch of garlic salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt to taste
how to prepare
- Preheat the oven to 140 degree Celsius.
- Mix all the ingredients well and place them properly in a baking tray.
- Bake it for an hour or till it is cooked.
frequently Asked question
1. When should you not consume pumpkin?
If you are allergic to pumpkin, it is better not to consume it during pregnancy.
2. Which foods made with pumpkin should you avoid during pregnancy?
Pumpkin is very healthy, but if you consume pumpkin chips or pumpkin pie, then it is not good for your health, especially during pregnancy. That’s why you should avoid eating junk food made from pumpkin like pumpkin pie, pumpkin candy, or pumpkin cake.
Including pumpkin in your diet during pregnancy provides you with a lot of nutrition, which is very important during this pregnancy. But you should consume pumpkin in limited quantity otherwise it may cause stomach problems. Follow a balanced diet – Consume all the beneficial things during pregnancy, it will benefit both you and your baby. But it is very important that you must consult your doctor or nutritionist before including anything in your pregnancy diet.