In times of ever increasing consumption of processed food, one is often ignorant of its detrimental effect in the long run. With organic living gradually gaining popularity, the urban milieu is drawn towards leading a natural and organic life as a way to keep their system healthy with all things natural. We see a gradual rise of online as well as regular shops selling organic products in India. One such organic item which is considered as a phenomenal health food is pumpkin seeds. Research shows that they are rich in a variety of nutrients such as magnesium, copper, protein, manganese and zinc. It is also said to have free-radical scavenging antioxidants and plant compounds known as phytosterols. But, like every good thing, this too comes with a clause. There are several side effects associated with unmonitored intake of pumpkin seeds.
Here are a few Side Effects one Should be aware of Before Including Pumpkin Seeds in their Diet:
This is the most common side effect of pumpkin seeds. People have often complained of itching, rashes and swelling of neck and mouth after eating pumpkin seeds. It can also cause rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, post nasal drip etc. In severe cases, one might often suffer from allergic asthma. In such cases, medical assistance is required.
2. Stomach And Other Ailments:
Though pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of insolouble fibre which stimulates digestion, the shells of those seeds are very chewy. It is necessary to chew them thoroughly otherwise poorly chewed seeds can cause stomach and other ailments such as irritable bowel, stomach ache, gastric trouble and even headache. It can even cause diarrhoea as the fatty acid is often not absorbed by the intestinal tract. To avoid these ailments one can opt for pumpkin seed powder which is easily available in the market.
3. Increased Production Of Urine:
Pumpkin seeds are diuretic and cause low blood pressure. Excessive urination can cause loss of important minerals from the kidneys hence resulting in mineral imbalance. Intake of pumpkin seeds in large quantities can cause headache, dizziness and fainting due to mineral imbalance.
4. Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy for Kids?:
Well, though the children might get tempted to eat pumpkin seeds as a snack but since they are high in protein and fibres, it often becomes difficult for them to digest. The infants should never be given any forms of pumpkin seeds lest they should develop abdominal pains and other stomach ailments. Excessive vomiting or diarrhea can result in dehydration in an infant which can prove fatal. Moreover, there is a risk of choking with pumpkin seeds with children. Also, if a child has an allergy for seeds, then giving pumpkin seeds to them must be avoided.
5. Should Be Avoided By People Having Hypoglycaemia:
Hypoglycaemia is a condition characterised by low blood glucose or blood sugar. It occurs when the level of glucose in the blood falls below the normal level. Pumpkin seeds are particularly helpful to keep insulin levels at check among diabetic patient. But, for patients suffering from hypoglycaemia, is is not advisable as it might result in excessive lowering of blood sugar levels. It is advisable to consult a doctor a prepare a diet chart if one who is suffering from hypoglycaemia really needs to consume pumpkin seeds.
6. Should Be Avoided By Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women:
Research says that pumpkin seeds can cause diuresis in pregnant women which can cause mineral imbalance in them. So, pregnant women should avoid having pumpkin seeds.
There are hardly any claims made by science that pumpkin seeds aid in lactation. So, knowing the side effects of pumpkin seeds, one should stay away from pumpkin seeds during breastfeeding. It also has anti nutrients which should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Or even if one takes it, it should be in a considerable amount.
7. Can Cause Obesity:
With almost every individual falling prey to obesity now-a-days due to unhealthy lifestyle, having pumpkin seeds can actually increase the chances of obesity in an individual. 8 oz of pumpkin seeds can add upto 1000 calories to your normal diet. Hence, it is advised to eat pumpkin seeds in small amounts unless you want a weight gain.
8. Should Be Avoided By Individuals With Lower Blood Pressure:
Pumpkin seeds are beneficial for people having high blood pressure as it aids in lowering blood pressure levels. Simultaneously, it is disadvantageous for people having low blood pressure as it can further lower the blood pressure.
9. Eating Rancid Pumpkin Seeds Cause Severe Health Hazard:
Pumpkin seeds are prone to spoil quickly. Eating rancid pumpkin seeds exposes our body to several health hazards like heart disease, cancer and other chronic illness to name a few. Therefore, before eating pumpkin seeds one should diligently check if the seeds do not grassy or oily.
10. Reaction With Other Medicine:
If not consulted with proper physicians, often a person is already under medication can suffer adverse reaction if it reacts with the other medicines that he/she takes. Consulting a doctor is always advised before one includes pumpkin seeds in his/her diet. It is also said to have anti-nutrients like cyanide, tannin and oxalates.
11. Not Safe For People Who Take Blood Thinners:
Pumpkin seeds are rich in Vitamin K and Omega 3 fatty acids which can aggravate blood thinning in an individual who are already under the medication of blood thinners. This can lead to bleeding. So, one must consult a doctor before he/she chose to include pumpkin seeds and blood thinners in their diet or health chart.
After going through all the side effects of pumpkin seeds, one still cannot deny the plethora of advantages it has. It is rich in anti-oxidants and helps to improve heart and liver health, the immune system and prostate health. It is also beneficial for postmenopausal women and helps in sound sleep.
So, before including pumpkin seeds in your diet make sure that it is in the right quantity.