Is It Safe To Eat Pumpkin During Pregnancy?

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If you are craving pumpkin during pregnancy, you need not hesitate to include it in your diet. Pumpkin and its seeds are highly nutritious and beneficial for pregnant women. The fiber-rich fruit helps prevent and treat constipation. Additionally, the seeds help maintain a healthy pumping heart and aids in the baby’s bone formation.

Besides these benefits, pumpkins offer many other health advantages. It is also a versatile ingredient and can be incorporated into different foods, both sweet and savory.

This post explains the benefits of consuming pumpkin and pumpkin seeds during pregnancy and some delicious recipes to incorporate this ingredient into your diet.

In This Article

Health Benefits Of Pumpkin During Pregnancy

Eating pumpkin and its seeds when you are pregnant has many healthy pregnancy benefits and aids in fetal development. However, it is important you also get a confirmation from your doctor before consuming either while you are pregnant.

1. Prevent And Soothe Abdominal Cramps:

  • Pumpkin can help prevent and even take care of those cramps you experience during pregnancy in your abdomen.
  • You can either steam it or cook it, or even stir-fry it.

2. Loaded With Nutrition:

  • Pumpkins have lots of important nutrients that are good for you while you are pregnant and can help with weight management.
  • They contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins, iron, calcium, niacin, beta-carotene and phosphorus.
protip_icon Nutrition fact
Pumpkins contain only 50 calories per cup and have three grams of fiber. This helps you keep full for a long time (1).

3. Prevents Diarrhea:

Eating pumpkin during pregnancy may help prevent diarrhea

Image: Shutterstock

  • Eating pumpkins can reduce your chances of diarrhea and eczemaiXSkin condition characterized by patchy, red, itchy, and inflamed skin , which can often be a common ailment when you are pregnant.
  • Pumpkins help remove worms from your intestine and clean your spleen, reducing any chances of a stomach infection during your pregnancy.

4. Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Check:

  • Pumpkin can help to reduce your blood sugar levels and keep the risks of gestational diabetes at bay.
  • Make sure you have it without any added sweetener or sugar to avail of this benefit.

5. Protein Rich:

Pumpkin promotes healthy sleep during pregnancy

Image: IStock

  • Pumpkins are especially good for you during your pregnancy because they contain a high amount of protein.
  • Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, which prevents constipation during your pregnancy.

Health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds in pregnancy

1. Is Healthy For Your Heart:

  • Just eating a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds will provide you with almost half the daily requirement of your magnesium intake.
  • It helps your heart to pump properly and is good for the formation of your baby’s bones and teeth. It will also help prevent constipation, which is a common problem pregnant women face.

2. Zinc Rich:

  • Pumpkin seeds are high in their zinc content.
  • It helps strengthen your immune system, helps you sleep better, improves bone health and also helps control your mood swings, which are common during pregnancy.
protip_icon Nutrition fact
One serving of pumpkin seeds contains 6.6mg of zinc, which accounts for almost half of the recommended daily allowance. They have anti-inflammatoryiXA substance that controls and reduces inflammation and antioxidantiXMolecules that block free radicals from causing harm to the body effects (2).

3. Good For Preventing Diabetes:

  • Pumpkin seeds help improve your insulin regulation, especially if you are a diabetic or are at a risk.
  • It is especially helpful to prevent any diabetic complications as it reduces oxidative stress.

4. Helps Soothe And Delay Menopausal Effects:

  • Eating pumpkin seeds will provide your body with natural phytoestrogensiXA plant-based compound that mimics the effects of estrogen hormone produced in the body , which help increase the good cholesterol in your body.
  • It helps ease many menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, blood pressure levels and even joint pain.

5. Promotes Sleep:

  • Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid, which your body converts into the sleep hormone melatoniniXA hormone that affects the sleep-wake cycles in the body .
  • Difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep is a common concern when you are pregnant. Eat pumpkin seeds a few hours before you sleep to help you fall asleep better. (2)

Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Here are a few pumpkin and pumpkin seed recipes that you can try:

1. Creamy Pumpkin And Lentil Soup:

Image: IStock

You Will Need:

  • 1 tbsp. and 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 800 g chopped pumpkin without the flesh, including the seeds
  • 100 g split red lentils
  • 1 pack thyme
  • 1 l hot vegetable stock
  • A pinch of sugar and salt
  • 50 g crème Fraiche and a little extra to be added while serving

How To:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and lightly fry the onions. Continue frying until the onions turn golden brown and are slightly soft. Add the garlic, the pumpkin flesh, the thyme and the lentils. Stir together. Next, add the hot vegetable stock. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. The lentils and the vegetables should turn tender.
  1. Wash the pumpkin seeds and remove any skin from them. Heat oil in a pan and fry the seeds till they start to pop. Keep stirring and use a lid in between to prevent the seeds from popping out of the pan. Once the seeds are toasted, add a little salt and sugar and stir well.
  1. Put the pumpkin mix in a food processor and blend till it turns smooth. Add the crème Fraiche and blend again.
  1. Serve along with the toasted seeds and a little sprinkling of thyme.

protip_icon Quick tip
Add a few slices of ginger to amp up the taste and aroma of your pumpkin soup.

2. Spiced Pumpkin Seeds:

Image: IStock

You Will Need:

  • 1 ½ tbsp. melted margarine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8thtsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 135 degrees C.
  1. Mix the seeds with the sauce, salt, garlic salt, and margarine. Mix them together and place the mix on a shallow baking sheet.
  2. Bake the seeds for about an hour, occasionally stirring.

3. Pumpkin And Sage Spaghetti:

Image: IStock

You Will Need:

  • 800 g chopped pumpkin flesh
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • About 20 roughly chopped sage leaves
  • 350 g dried spaghetti
  • 50 g grated Parmesan
  • Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Place the pumpkin in a pan and sprinkle it with some sugar and a pinch of salt. Add about six tbsp of water. Cover the pan with the lid tightly in place. Place it on medium heat and let it steam for about 15 minutes, till the pumpkin turns soft but still holds its shape. In case the pumpkin seems dry while you are steaming it, add a few more tbsps of water. Once done, set it aside.
  1. Add butter and sage in a pan and heat it till the butter starts to foam. Boil the spaghetti in a pan of salted water for about 10 minutes, or till it is properly cooked. Once it is ready, drain the water and place the spaghetti in the pan. Do not throw away the water.
  1. Place the sage and butter on high heat till it starts sizzling. Add the lemon juice and let it splutter. Add the pumpkin, the melted butter, half of the parmesan and about four tbsp of the pasta water. Add the spaghetti. Mix in everything to coat it together. Add salt and pepper as per taste and sprinkle with some more Parmesan.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the recommended amounts of pumpkin intake during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are recommended to take about four servings of vegetables every day (3). Pumpkin may be taken as a part of the total vegetable intake.

2. What vitamins and minerals does pumpkin provide for pregnant women?

Pumpkins can provide vitamin A, vitamin B (thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, B6, and folate), vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium for pregnant women (4).

3. Is it safe to drink pumpkin juice during pregnancy?

Yes, pumpkin juice may be taken in moderation during pregnancy.

4. Is it safe to eat canned pumpkin during pregnancy?

Canned vegetables may be eaten during pregnancy (4). However, it is advisable to check labels for added salt, sugar, preservatives, or other additives before buying.

While eating pumpkin and its seeds is healthy, even when you are pregnant, make sure you take your doctor’s advice and then try out the recipes above.

Infographic : Advantages Of Including Pumpkins In Pregnancy Diet

Are you craving the bright orange pepo fruit yet worried about how safe pumpkin is for consumption during pregnancy? Well, this autumn special is highly recommended during pregnancy for its innumerable health benefits by most dieticians. The following infographic lists the nutritive benefits of including pumpkin in your pregnancy diet.

benefits of pumpkins for pregnant women (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and magnesium, which support heart health, sleep quality, and immune system strength.
  • Pumpkin has several health benefits during pregnancy, such as being high in nutrition, relieving stomach cramps, and reducing the risk of diarrhea.
  • Pumpkin can be included in various recipes, such as creamy pumpkin and lentil soup, to make them nutritious and delicious.
  • It is essential to consult your doctor before consuming pumpkin seeds.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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