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7 Major Side Effects of Overeating Pumpkins (Squash )

Pumpkin (Cucurbita) is an edible vegetable which is also known as a cultivar of the squash plant. Although it is native to North America, it is now cultivated in many regions of the world. Depending on the place of cultivation, it may vary in textures.  Being a good source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. it provides a number of health benefits and as well as beauty benefits for our skin and hair. However, it should also be noted that over consumption of pumpkin is bad for our health. In this article, we will know about the major side effects of eating too many pumpkins, but first, let’s take a look at below mentioned nutrition chart of pumpkin.

Nutrition Chart of Pumpkin

Nutrition Chart of Pumpkin
Source-USDA

 

Side Effects of Overeating Pumpkins

Side Effects of Overeating Pumpkins
Source-Pixabay.com

(1) May Lead To Weight Gain

Eating pumpkins on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for the individuals who are on a weight loss regime or who would like to get rid of some extra pounds.

This benefit is mainly due to the low calorific value of pumpkin.  Eating 100 grams of pumpkin provides around 26 kcals of energy which means one can enjoy pumpkin without worrying about the weight gain.

In addition to this, they are also rich in dietary fibers that keep our stomach fuller for longer duration and decreases our urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overheating, a major cause of obesity.

The water ( around 92 percent) present in the pumpkin plays a significant role in the weight loss process.

Although pumpkin is very beneficial when it comes to “weight loss”, but it should also be remembered that the best way to use pumpkin for the weight loss is to eat it in the form of vegetable, and not in another form like smoothies etc. This is because these smoothies may have added sugar and calories in them, and this may lead to weight gain.

Even if you’d like to enjoy pumpkin smoothies, make sure that there are no added calories to it. Otherwise, your plan of “weight loss” will go down the drain.

In addition to this, “Pumpkin seeds” which are said to provide numerous health benefits, are also a leading factor for the weight gain. This is because of their high calorific value. Eating 100 grams of pumpkin seeds provide around 446 kcals of energy.

(2) Not So Good For Our Digestive System

Regular and moderate consumption of pumpkin is very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy.

This benefit of pumpkin is mainly due to the presence of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers etc. in them.

The dietary fibers present in the pumpkin acts as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our body.

By doing so, it not only provides relief from constipation but also reduces the risk of digestive disorders like abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion etc.

Other nutrients like vitamins and minerals also play a significant role in maintaining our digestive health.

Although the dietary fibers present in the pumpkin provides a number of benefits, still it is better to eat pumpkin in moderation as there are also some side effects of excessive intake of dietary fibers.

Some of the major side effects of overeating dietary fibers are malabsorption, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, indigestion, intestinal gas, intestinal bloating etc.

For this reason, it is better to eat pumpkin in moderation.

(3) May Cause Hypoglycemia

Pumpkin has been found to be very beneficial for the diabetic patients or who are at the risk of developing diabetes.

This benefit of pumpkin is mainly because of the low sugar content ( carbohydrates) present in them.

Consuming pumpkins on a regular basis slows down the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream and this helps in controlling diabetes.

Additionally, the dietary fibers present in the pumpkin also plays a significant role in the diabetes management because of their ability to the reduce the absorption of sugar by the blood stream.

Although pumpkin is very effective in controlling diabetes, still it is better to eat them in moderation as eating too much pumpkin may drop your blood sugar to dangerously low level, and this may give rise to “Hypoglycemia”.

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which our blood sugar level goes down to a dangerously low level giving rise to symptoms like blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, pale skin, headache, dizziness, excessive hunger, excessive sweating, loss of consciousness etc.

Also, if you are a diabetic patient and already taking medication for the same, then the inclusion of excessive pumpkin in your diet may interfere with the medication and may cause your blood sugar level to drop in the danger zone.

This is another reason to eat pumpkin in moderation, and if you are on medication, then it is better to eat pumpkin only as per the advice of the doctor.

Also Read: 20 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin (Squash)

(4) May Cause Hypotension 

Consuming pumpkin on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very effective in keeping our blood pressure under control and thus reduces the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.

This benefit of pumpkin is mainly due to the presence of vital  “Potassium” in it.

Potassium is a vital mineral that acts as a vasodilator, relaxes our blood vessels, and improves blood circulation in our body. By improving blood circulation, it helps in maintaining blood pressure level and thus helps in reducing the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.

Although pumpkin is very effective in controlling high blood pressure, still, it is better to eat pumpkin in moderation.

This is because eating too much pumpkin may reduce the blood pressure to a dangerously low level, and give rise to hypotension or low blood pressure.

Hypotension is a condition in which our blood pressure drops down to an abnormally low level giving rise to symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, blurry vision etc.

Also, if you are suffering from hypertension and already taking medication for the same, then eating too much pumpkin along with the medication may interfere with the medicines, and may cause hypotension.

For this reason, it is better to eat pumpkin in moderation and only as per the recommendation of the doctor ( if you are on medication ).

(5) Excessive Intake of Antioxidants Are Bad

Pumpkin is a good source of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, phytochemicals etc. that provides a number of benefits.

These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells. By doing so, it not only reduces the risk of various types of cancers but also increases the production of collagen in our body, which in turn helps in keeping our bones, nails, teeth, muscles etc. healthy.

It is also effective in keeping our immune system stronger,  and when our immune system is stronger, we are less likely to get infected by the disease-causing microbes like bacteria and virus etc.

Although antioxidants present in the pumpkin provides numerous benefits, still it is better to eat them in moderation, as there are also some side effects of antioxidants overdose.

At regular level, antioxidants protect our cells from the free radicals and reduce the risk of cancers. However, on a higher level, these antioxidants may even prevent the cancer cells and may even promote them.

As per a study published in 1996 in the “Journal of National Cancer Institute”, it was found that smokers who took beta-carotene supplement had a higher chance of developing lung cancer in comparison to other smokers.

Similarly, the Vitamin E ( an antioxidant) has been said to increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke when taken in excessive quantity.

(6) Not So good For Pregnant And Nursing Mothers

Pregnancy and nursing period is a crucial step in every women’s life and at this time, they have to make sure that whatever they are eating or drinking is safe and full of essential nutrients.

This is because what they eat or drink determines not just their health, but also the health of the baby ( unborn and/or the nursing one ).

Pumpkin is a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. and this makes it very beneficial for the pregnant and nursing mothers.

Although there are no reported side effects of pumpkin during pregnancy and nursing period, for a safe side it is better to eat pumpkin in moderation, and only as per the recommendation of your doctor.

Also, if you are on medication of any kind, then have a word with your doctor and ensure that consumption of pumpkin will not interfere with the medication.

Also Read: 13 Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin For Skin And Hair

(7) May Cause Allergic Reactions 

In Moderate consumption, pumpkin is a safe food and provides a number of health benefits like maintaining cardiovascular health, regulating blood pressure, regulating sugar level, maintaining digestive health, improves metabolism, strengthen immune system etc.

However, if you are allergic to pumpkin then it is better to avoid pumpkin completely, as otherwise, it may give rise to allergic reactions like itching, dermatitis, nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, swelling of lips and face etc.

These individuals should avoid pumpkins completely, as allergic reaction may trigger even by getting in skin contact with pumpkin or pumpkin seeds.

 

Reference(s)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html

 

Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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