This yellowish-orange-colored vegetable called pumpkin, which can be easily found at every alternate vegetable vendor is known for its culinary benefits. It is a very nutritious vegetable. So if you are wondering is pumpkin good for pregnancy, or whether it is safe to eat laddu during pregnancy (Kaddu is another name for pumpkin), then you are at the right place. In this article, we will try to analyze the side effects along with the benefits of eating pumpkin during pregnancy, along with the various ways in which it can be included in your pregnancy diet.
Pregnancy is a wonderful phase for a woman and her family. Great care is taken to ensure the good health of the mother and the baby. Watching what you eat is very important during this phase. Each pregnancy is unique, and everybody reacts differently to the kinds of food we consume. Are you fond of pumpkin and its seeds, but wondering, can pregnant women eat pumpkin?
Is it Safe to Eat Pumpkin During Pregnancy?
Pumpkin is a highly nutritious vegetable which is absolutely safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, during pregnancy, one has to be careful to consume anything in moderation, as excessive use may lead to complications. Otherwise, there are no inherent side effects of consuming pumpkin during pregnancy, and it is safe for consumption even in pregnancy.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin in Pregnancy:
The following is the nutritional value reaped from consuming 100g of pumpkin.
- Protein 1.3g
- Fats 0.3g
- Carbohydrates 9.9g
- It is a Vitamin A 26.908IU
- Best Vitamin C 5mg
- Vitamin B1 0.03mg
- Vitamin B2 0.07mg
- Niacin 0.4mg
- Phosphorous 42mg
- Calcium 32mg
- Iron 1.7mg
Let’s evaluate the benefits and possible side effects of having pumpkin and the seeds. Let’s find out ‘Is pumpkin good for pregnancy?’
Benefits of Eating Pumpkin During Pregnancy:
1. Reduces Abdominal Cramps:
Pregnancy causes discomfort in the stomach, including severe cramps. Having pumpkin and pumpkin seeds during pregnancy can reduce these cramps considerably. It can either be consumed cooked, steamed or stir-fried.
2. A Good Source of Nutrition:
This vegetable contains a variety of essential nutrients. They have ample quantity of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, iron, calcium, niacin and phosphorus, which help in the overall health of the mother and baby.
3. Aids in Prevention of Diarrhea:
Stomach disorders are most common during pregnancy, including diarrhoea. Eating pumpkin during pregnancy can lower your chances of diarrhoea and eczema besides removing worms from your intestine and cleaning your spleen. This further reduces any chances of a stomach infection during pregnancy.
4. Keeps The Blood Sugar Levels in Control:
Pumpkins are highly effective in reducing the blood sugar levels of the pregnant woman. However, to avail of this benefit, you must ensure that you are consuming it without any added sweeteners.
5. Prevents Constipation:
Constipation is one complaint that most women have during pregnancy. This vegetable is high in protein and fibre, ensuring proper digestive functioning and thereby have a good bowel movement.
Side Effects of Pumpkin During Pregnancy:
1. Allergic Reaction:
Pumpkins may cause various allergic reactions in your body. The body might especially turn allergic to pumpkins, and it’s seed during pregnancy due to new hormones being released in a higher amount.
2. Overconsumption is Harmful:
Overconsumption of pumpkins may cause intolerance in the body, with symptoms like headache, stomach ache, gastric troubles, and diarrhea.
Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds for Pregnant Women:
1. Good for a Healthy Heart:
Pumpkin seeds during pregnancy will provide you with almost half the daily requirement of your magnesium intake. Thus it helps the heart to pump properly and thereby ensures its well-being.
2. Boosts The Immune System:
Pumpkin seeds have a high content of zinc. This aids in strengthening the immune system.
3. Preventing Diabetes:
Pumpkin seeds help in improving insulin regulation, especially if the mother is a diabetic or at risk of it. It significantly reduces oxidative stress and thus helps prevent any diabetic complications.
4. Promotes Sleep:
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid. This amino acid can be converted by your body into the sleep hormone melatonin. Difficulty in getting asleep is a common issue while being pregnant. Eating pumpkin seeds during pregnancy a few hours before sleep helps to fall asleep better.
5. Delaying Menopausal Effects:
Eating pumpkin seeds provides the body with natural phytoestrogens. It helps to increase good cholesterol in your body. Thereby, it helps ease many menopausal symptoms like blood pressure levels, hot flashes, headaches, and even joint pain.
6. Healthy Source of Fats:
Pumpkin is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is vital during pregnancy as it aids in fetal brain development.
Is Pumpkin Good for Pregnancy?
Eating pumpkin during pregnancy has many health benefits for both the mom-to-be and the unborn baby. But you may never know how your body might react to it. For best, visit a doctor or an expert, consult them if you can have it and how much should you consume.
Easy and Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for an Expectant Mother to Eat:
1. Pumpkin Paratha:
- Pumpkin grated and peeled250g
- Whole wheat flour1 cup
- Cumin seeds¼ tsp
- Ajwain¼ tsp
- Roasted cumin powder¼ tsp
- Garammasala¼ tsp
- Ginger paste1 tsp
- Finely chopped green chilies1 tsp
- Finely chopped coriander¼ cup
- Salt to taste
- Ghee 1 tsp
- Whole wheat flour for dusting the dough while rolling¼ cup
- Oil or ghee for roasting the paratha
- Wash peel and grate the pumpkin.
- Take 1 cup of wheat flour in a big plate.
- Add all the ingredients except ghee, including the pumpkin to it.
- Mix everything well and start kneading the dough.
- If the dough is too sticky, you may add some more flour.
- Now add 1tsp ghee and knead again to make a soft dough.
- Give the dough rest of 15-20 minutes by covering the same.
- Now take a lemon size ball of the dough, dust it in the wheat flour and roll it out in a round shape.
- Put the paratha on the tawa and cook on both sides.
- Now add a little ghee and cook again both the sides until it is golden brown.
From the benefits above, one may safely conclude that eating pumpkin during pregnancy is beneficial for both the mother and the baby. However, everybody is different, and though you might not know, you could have developed an allergy to pumpkin, especially during pregnancy. So, it’s advisable that you consult your health expert before including pumpkin in your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1: Is it Safe to Eat Pumpkin During Early Pregnancy?
Ans: Folate is the most important nutrients required during the early part of the pregnancy and pumpkin, is rich in folate. Hence it is absolutely safe and in fact necessary to consume pumpkin during the first part of pregnancy to avoid any neural tube side effects in the child.
Q2: Is Eating Pumpkin During Breastfeeding Safe or Not?
Ans: Pumpkin, including the pumpkin seeds, are an excellent addition to an average breastfeeding mom’s diet. Being rich in various nutrients it ensures that the baby is receiving all the nutrients needed along with the mother who will not go deficient at the same time.
Q3: How Much Quantity of Pumpkin Should I Eat During Pregnancy?
Ans: Pumpkin is an excellent addition to the diet, but over-consumption of the same could possibly have side effects on the pregnancy. To know how much quantity of pumpkin is safe for you, please consult your doctor.