Are you expecting a baby and wanting to know what foods are safe to eat? Can I eat pumpkin while pregnant? Also, do you like pumpkin seeds but no idea if they are good for pregnant women?
If the questions above worry you, fret not! Read on and find out all the health benefits of pumpkins during pregnancy.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin While Pregnant
Pumpkins provide many health benefits during pregnancy. But it’s important to seek doctor recommendation first before eating while you’re pregnant.
1. Packed with nutrients
- Pumpkins contain various nutrients that are good while you’re pregnant.
- It has carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat, calcium, phosphorus, niacin and iron.
2. Avoid and ease abdominal pains
- During pregnancy, you experience a lot of cramps in your abdomen and eating pumpkins can prevent that from happening.
- Cook it, steam or fry, whatever you like it to be.
3. Control blood sugar levels
- Eating pumpkins can help regulate the levels of your blood sugars.
- The recommended one is to have it with no sweeteners or added sugar to get the benefits.
4. Protein rich
- Since it contains a high level of protein, it’s a perfect food during pregnancy.
- Also, it’s rich in fiber that helps with constipation while pregnant.
5. Prevents diarrhea
- Pumpkins lower the possibilities of getting eczema or diarrhea which are common ailment when pregnant.
- It helps lowers the risks of stomach infection, washes the spleen and eliminates the worms from the intestine.
Pumpkin seeds for pregnant women
1. Good for the heart
- A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides you have of the daily intake of your magnesium.
- Pumpkin seeds also help the heart to pump properly as well as the formation of the baby teeth and bones. When pregnant, constipation is a common problem and eating the seeds can help prevent it.
1. Better sleep
- The amino acid and tryptophan of pumpkin seeds are converted by the body into sleep hormone melatonin.
2. Zinc rich
- This contains a high zinc amount.
- Pumpkin seeds are immune boosters and promote better sleep as well as control your mood swings which is common while pregnant.
3. Prevent diabetes
- The seeds are good insulin regulators, especially if you’re diabetic or have a possibility.
- Also, helps avoid diabetic complications since it lowers the oxidative stress
4. Soothe and defer menopausal effects
- Pumpkin seeds give you natural phytoestrogens that help boost the good cholesterol in the system.
- It alleviates the signs of headaches, blood pressure levels, hot flashes, and joint pains.
- Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bedtime helps you sleep better since during pregnancy, falling and staying asleep is a common problem.
Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed Recipes
Here is one of the pumpkin and pumpkin seed recipes you can try at home:
Creamy Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
- 800 g chopped pumpkin without the flesh, including the seeds
- 2 minced onions
- 100g split red lentils
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. and 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 pack thyme
- A pinch of salt and sugar
- 1 l hot vegetable stock
- 50g crème Fraiche and a little extra to be topped up while serving
1. Sauté the onions in a pan and wait until it becomes golden brown and medium soft. Add garlic, thyme, lentils and pumpkin flesh. Add the hot vegetable stock and mix. Let it simmer for 25 minutes so that vegetables and lentils soft by that time.
2. Clean the pumpkin seeds and get rid of any skin from them. Fry the seed in a pan with hot oil and wait until they pop. Continue stirring and use a cap in between to avoid the seeds from getting out of the pan. Once they are toasted, add a pinch of sugar and salt and mix.
3. Place your pumpkin mix in a food processor and mix until it’s smooth. Put the crème Fraiche and mix.
4. Serve with your toasted seeds and sprinkle a little thyme.