9 Strange Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds

These simple seeds may not be as safe and good for you as you might think!

Reviewed by Shivani Sikri, Functional Nutrition Expert
By Tanya Choudhary

Pumpkin seeds, packed with powerful nutrients, are beneficial for your health. With their wide assortment of minerals and vitamins, these are the richest of the seeds that are known to treat prostate issues, arthritis, parasitic attacks. These seeds also provide natural remedies for depression. Though pumpkin seeds are safe in food amounts, taking them in medicinal amounts may be unsafe. So, here we are going to discuss a few side effects of pumpkin seeds.

Top 9 Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds

There are potential side effects associated with them. Read on to get a brief of the pumpkin seeds side effects with us right here:

1. Stomach Ache

Pumpkin seeds cause stomach ache when consumed in huge quantities. It is a rich source of fatty oils, which on ingestion beyond acceptable levels, could cause stomach upset followed by cramps and pain. Just try consuming 1-2 teaspoons at a time or eat it along with other foods to nullify this side effect. You can also roast these seeds before consuming.

2. Absence Of Nutrients

You might be at the risk of losing various nutrients if you do not consume these seeds in a proper way. Overcooking or lack of chewing will actually deprive you of the benefits. Crisp cooked pumpkin seeds are devoid of water-soluble nutrients such as Vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C. If you are cooking these seeds, then keep the heat to the lowest possible level. Also, chewing them properly instead of swallowing them down will make them more digestive and help in better absorption of the nutrients present.

3. Not Good For People On Diuretic Drugs

Edema is commonly seen in people with renal disorders or certain cardiovascular issues. Studies suggest that these seeds possess innate mild diuretic powers, which in turn could interact with diuretic drugs, paving way for an increased visit to the washroom. This might actually affect the mineral balance in your body. So, beware if you are on diuretic drugs!

4. Not Safe For Infants

Pumpkin seeds contain protein and iron in admirable quantities, making it a tempting snack for the infants. However, being packed with fiber and fatty acids, these are not recommended for infants as it could trigger stomach cramps, pain, vomiting, and even diarrhea.

5. Not Safe For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of alpha linolenic acid and DHA that aid in the breastfeeding process in lactating mothers. However, it is good to stay on the safe side by ingesting them in limited quantities. Also, pumpkin seeds are highly beneficial for pregnant women as they contain all the nutrients essential for prenatal development. However, there is some conflicting research too, and they have been known to cause side effects. Hence, it is safe to consume pumpkin seeds in moderation and after consulting with your nutritionist or physician.

6. Allergy To Pumpkin Seeds

While these are not highly allergenic when compared to other seed varieties, there are certain allergic reactions that could be triggered by using pumpkin seeds, with the skin being the primary target. Here is what you can expect if you fall prey to pumpkin seed allergy:

  • Eczema, characterized by scaly, inflamed, and red skin.
  • Itching and hives.
  • Rhinoconjunctivitis with characteristic nasal congestion and sneezing.
  • Allergic asthma.
  • Obstructed breathing.
  • Headache.
  • Swelling and redness in and around the mouth.
  • Throat irritation.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing

Fix an appointment with your physician quickly for verifying and take appropriate medications.

7. Not Safe For People With Hypoglycemia

Studies conducted on the goodness of pumpkin seeds suggest that these are ideal snack options for diabetics as they possess blood sugar regulating potential. It actually lowers glucose level in blood, thus preventing the unwanted escalation. If you are on anti-diabetic medications or if you are hypoglycemic, then it would be advisable to include pumpkin seeds in your diet after consulting with your doctor.

8. Could Cause Unwanted Weight Gain

100 grams of pumpkin seeds give you a whopping 559 calories, with a 49.05 g of fat [164% of the recommended daily allowance of fat]. So make sure that you eat this snack in moderation unless you want to gain weight. Obesity is the underlying reason for many health conditions, including hypertension and diabetes. So, check with your doctor, especially if you are on a weight loss track before including these seeds in your diet. Also, only 1 to 2 teaspoons of the seeds are recommended in a day if you are on a specific diet.

9. Not Safe For People With Low Blood Pressure

Pumpkin seeds are rich antioxidants by nature. This enables them to lower the blood pressure level. Hence, if you are suffering from hypotension or you are in a hypertensive on anti-hypertensive medications, then it is advisable to use the seeds after discussing the associated complications and risks with your doctor.

Pumpkin seeds are a tasty snack to munch on; however, too much consumption may be harmful. The side effects of pumpkin seeds include hypoglycemia and stomach aches. Infants, pregnant women, and lactating women should avoid excessive intake as the seeds may trigger gastrointestinal problems. Also, the seeds have no guidelines on the recommended daily intake. In some cases, pumpkin seeds can cause allergic reactions or interfere with the functioning of certain medications. Hence, limit their intake if you experience any adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pumpkin seeds is too much?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommend having 5 ounces of pumpkin seeds per week as part of a healthy diet. Overindulging beyond this amount may be harmful.

Is it OK to eat pumpkin seeds every day?

Yes, consuming pumpkin seeds in moderation is beneficial to your health. The American Heart Association advises one ounce (about a quarter cup or around 28 to 30 grams) of pumpkin seeds every day.

Does eating pumpkin seeds cause hair loss?

No, pumpkin seeds and their oil stimulates hair growth.

Are pumpkin seeds good for kidney patients?

Yes. Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, which protect the kidneys from injury and prevent the accumulation of uric acid, avoiding the production of kidney stones.

Are pumpkin seeds a blood thinner?

Pumpkin seeds contain certain sugars that have anticoagulant properties. Hence, it may act as a blood thinner or may interfere with medications like warfarin.

Can you eat pumpkin seeds on an empty stomach?

Yes, consuming pumpkin seeds with lukewarm water on an empty stomach may help in detoxifying the body.

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Tanya is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She specializes in writing articles on ingredients that benefit skin,... more

Shivani Sikri

(PG Diploma in Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition)
Shivani Sikri is the founder and chief nutritionist at Nutri4Verve and has more than 10 years of experience. She recommends... more