Pumpkin ( Cucurbita) is an edible vegetable known as the cultivator of the squash plant. They are native to North America but are now cultivated in many regions of the world. Depending on the place of cultivation, pumpkins may have varying textures. They provide many health and beauty benefits as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc. However, there are also some side effects of overeating pumpkins.
Side Effects of Overeating Pumpkins
Some major side effects of overeating pumpkins are as follows.
(1) Pumpkin And Weight Management
Dietary fibers in pumpkin provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.
Pumpkin has an abundance of water ( around 92 percent) that improves digestion, enhances metabolism, and helps with weight management.
Because of its weight loss properties, pumpkin is often added to weight loss smoothies and drinks.
While using pumpkin in smoothies, ensure that there is no added sugar or sweeteners as they are high in calories and may interfere with weight loss.
Avoid pumpkin seeds as they are high in calories ( 446 calories per 100 grams) and may obstruct the weight loss goal.
(2) Pumpkin And Digestion
Dietary fibers in pumpkin are natural laxatives that improve bowel movement and relieve constipation. They also provide relief from gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
However, too many dietary fibers may cause poor absorption of nutrients. It may give rise to diarrhea and other digestive problems like intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, and flatulence, etc.
Eat pumpkin in moderation to improve digestive health.
If you are already enjoying a rich fiber diet, adding more fibers to your diet is not a good idea.
(3) May Lower Blood Sugar
Although pumpkins have a high glycemic index of 75, they help in managing diabetes as they areSource-Pixabay.com
low in carbohydrates and have a glycemic load of 3.
Dietary fibers in pumpkin slow down the absorption of sugar by the bloodstream and help in managing diabetes.
Despite the advantage, eat pumpkins in moderation as otherwise they may drop blood sugar below the normal range, and cause excessive hunger, excessive sweating, dizziness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, confusion, irritability, or moodiness.
If you take diabetes medication, consult with your doctor before adding pumpkin to your diet and ensure it won’t interfere with diabetes medication.
(4) May Drop Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent killer that affects millions around the world and is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
Pumpkin contains potassium, a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
However, too much potassium may drop blood pressure below the optimal level, causing symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, blurry vision, poor concentration, dehydration, irregular heartbeat, and pale skin, etc.
Eat pumpkin in moderation, and if you take blood pressure medication, eat pumpkin after consulting with your doctor to ensure there is no food-drug complication.
(5) Antioxidants Overload
Antioxidants in pumpkin protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of many cancers. They also provide other benefits like boosting the immune system, promoting cardiovascular health, improving respiratory health, improving neurological health, and so on.
In a normal scenario, antioxidants target the free radicals, but in large doses, they may target the healthy cells around and increase the risk of cancer(s).
It’s rare to go overboard on antioxidants through food ( including pumpkin).
But, overconsuming pumpkins while being on antioxidant supplements may increase the risk.
In a study published by the “Journal of National Cancer Institute”, large doses of beta-carotene supplements increased lung cancer risk in smokers.
A high intake of vitamin E supplements increases the risk of prostate cancer and hemorrhagic stroke.
(6) Eating Pumpkin During Pregnancy And Nursing
In general, pumpkin is a safe food during pregnancy and the nursing period.
Antioxidants in pumpkin protect the fetus from free radical damage, and folate in pumpkin protects the newborn from birth defects such as Spina Bifida and neural tube defects.
Pumpkin regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
Other nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and B complex vitamins in pumpkin also help in a healthy pregnancy.
There are no reported side effects of pumpkin during pregnancy and nursing stage.
However, for the safe side, pregnant and nursing women should limit their pumpkin intake.
If you have been prescribed any medication during pregnancy, consult your doctor and ensure there is no food-drug interference.
(7) May Cause Allergic Reactions
Avoid pumpkin if you are allergic to it.
In some individuals, pumpkin or pumpkin seeds can cause allergic reactions such as itching, dermatitis, nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, swelling of lips and face, etc.
Consuming as well as topical application of pumpkin or pumpkin seeds can trigger these reactions.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as 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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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.