During the nine months of pregnancy, you experience almost every emotion possible—pain, happiness, anxiety, worry, a craving for food—you name it and you experience it! While you secretly crave for some foods, you must be extremely cautious to understand what your body needs on a daily basis. In those 9 months, you must keep yourself and your baby safe until the delivery and the period of recovery that follows. Thanks to the giant leaps in technology, information on anything is just a click away. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about pumpkin seeds during pregnancy.
Pumpkin seeds are full of various vital nutrients-both vitamins and minerals are essential for health and wellness. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for the growth and development of the fetus. Having said that, you may be wondering if pumpkin seeds are safe during pregnancy and whether eating them can cause any side effects. Scroll down to know more.
In This Article
Pumpkin Seeds -Why Do We Need Them?
Pumpkin seeds can be added to salads, bread, smoothies and are absolutely safe for mothers-to-be. Not just safe, they are healthy and a source of important nutrients for prenatal development. Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body undergoes changes internally and externally to make room for the growth of the baby inside.
As the uterus expands, the back, abdominal and hip muscles need to stretch. This push, pull, and stretch call for extra protein in the diet, and pumpkin seeds can come to your rescue at this crucial time, particularly for vegetarians. 1 cup of pumpkin seeds takes care of half of your daily nutritional requirement. Apart from protein, it also contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a potent source of many nutrients, offering high levels of essential vitamins and minerals in a small serving.
- Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, and Copper.
- The seeds are rich in many antioxidants, which protect our cells from disease-causing damage and reduce inflammation in our bodies.
- They are high in magnesium.
- In addition, they also contain zinc and selenium.
- The seeds are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds During Pregnancy
Not only are pumpkin seeds safe to eat during pregnancy, but they are also loaded with many important nutrients. Some of the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds during pregnancy are:
- Rich in fiber, pumpkin seeds keeps your bowels active during pregnancy. They also keep diarrhea in check and are a natural deworming agent. Moreover, the seeds prevent chances of stomach infections.
- Iron deficiency is a common problem that most pregnant women experience. Rather than going for supplements, it is easier to go the natural way and add pumpkin seeds to your diet. Every 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contain approximately 8.8 milligrams of iron. Iron helps produce red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. During pregnancy, the body is known to produce more red blood cells to enhance the baby’s growth; hence the need for more iron. One cup of this seed can fulfill the daily requirement.
- Pumpkin seeds ensure that the heart pumps blood effectively and at the same time enables your baby to develop strong teeth and bones.
- Rich in zinc, pumpkin seeds strengthen the immune system and help control mood swings which are common during pregnancy. Besides, zinc helps in the production of DNA that aids rapid cell growth in the fetus. Higher intake of zinc is also known to prevent miscarriage, low birth weight of the baby, and other complications that may occur post-delivery. To ensure this, a minimum of 13 milligrams of zinc is recommended for pregnant women on a daily basis.
- Pumpkin seeds regulate insulin levels to ensure that you need not worry about the risk of contracting diabetes during those 9 months.
- Regular intake of pumpkin seeds increases good cholesterol in the body.
- The seeds contain tryptophan. For this reason, consuming pumpkin seeds a few hours before going to bed would ensure that pregnant women can get sound sleep.
- As pregnancy advances, women tend to feel exhausted. One way to overcome this is by consuming foods rich in Vitamin B which produces energy. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of Vitamin B. Besides, one ounce of the seeds provides 16 micrograms of folate, an important source of Vitamin B that prevents birth defects.
- Pumpkin seeds are also known to be an important source of healthy unsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids that aid the development of the brain and the central nervous system.
- They also help you get rid of nausea that pregnant women detest and want to do away with to enjoy eating.
- Pumpkin seeds are assumed to be good antidepressants so consuming them can help with the mood swings of pregnant women and also help to reduce their stress levels.
[Read : Chia Seeds During Pregnancy]
Side Effects of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
Like always here also moderation is the key. To enjoy the full benefits, consume pumpkin seeds in reasonable amounts only. Do not overeat in order to avoid any complications during pregnancy.
- Since the fiber content in these seeds is high, consuming too many pumpkin seeds may lead to abdominal discomfort.
- In rare cases, some women may be allergic to pumpkin seeds and may experience wheezing, vomiting, shortness of breath, or even abdominal cramps, but these kinds of side effects are still debatable in pregnant women.
What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds can be bought at the grocery store. Alternatively, you can scoop the seeds right from whole pumpkins. Watch out for added ingredients like salt in prepackaged seeds that reduce their nutritional value. Expecting mothers can eat pumpkin seeds on their own or add them to many recipes and meals. The following are great ways to include pumpkin seeds in your pregnancy diet:
- You can roast or toast them with any seasoning or spice for a healthy snack.
- Blend them into smoothies.
- Add them to cereal, granola, or yogurt.
- Grind and add as a garnish to soups, chicken dishes, or pasta.
- Toss them in a salad for some crunch.
- Blend them with other ingredients in a dip like hummus, pesto, etc.
- Use them in baking cookies and bread.
Pregnant women can sit back and happily eat pumpkin seeds and enjoy their benefits. Research shows that roasted pumpkin seeds are more nutritious than raw ones. So, it is better to buy them and roast them at home and consume it as it is or tosses them in salads. You can even enjoy them in soups. Look up the internet for interesting recipes and make sure to include them in your everyday diet. After all, nothing can compensate natural foods when it comes to good health and when the health of your unborn baby is also in question, who wants to take chances?
[Read : FlaxSeed During Pregnancy Safe Or Not Safe?]
1. Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy During Pregnancy?
Yes, indeed. They are rich in iron, fiber, and zinc. This helps with anemia, constipation and improves immunity.
2. Can Pumpkin Seeds Help My Pregnancy Mood Swings?
Pregnancy mood swings are very common. Pumpkin seeds can reduce stress levels. They are considered to be good antidepressants.
3. Can I Have Pumpkin Seeds For Gestational Diabetes?
Yes, you can. it can help you to a great extent. Pumpkin seeds help keep sugar levels in check.
4. Can I Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds When Pregnant?
Yes, you can. only a few like the taste. Roasting them with some ghee or spices can enhance the flavor.
Read Also: Hemp Seeds During Pregnancy – Is it Safe?