Does Pumpkin Help to Relieve Cramps?

The reasons to enjoy pumpkin this Fall are many. For starters, it’s delicious. The fruit (yup, it’s a fruit!) is also low calorie, high fiber, and loaded with nutrients. And one of those nutrients – magnesium – which may help to alleviate PMS, bloating, and cramps. Bonus!

So, us endo girls can be justified in our pumpkin obsession. Get your pumpkin on, ladies!

About magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that women with endometriosis tend to be low in, yet it’s the very mineral that may help us most. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, it also helps to boost mood and alleviate headaches. It’s kind of like the “magic mineral” in my book.

Knowing we generally tend to be on the lower spectrum of magnesium levels – and drop that even further if you tend to be stressed – how can we get a tasty boost?

Enter pumpkin seeds.

Powerhouse pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are where the magnesium action is at. One quarter cup of the seeds can provide nearly half of the recommended daily dose of magnesium. That’s significantly more than you would get in a serving of spinach which is known to be another great source of magnesium.

It’s important to distinguish between true pumpkin versus the pumpkin-flavored processed foods that line the grocery store shelves. I’m sorry to say pumpkin lattes do not contain virtually no pumpkin. They get their flavor from pumpkin spice and artificial flavoring, but not the real deal. Meaning, you’re not getting any magnesium and relief on your endo symptoms from a latte. If anything, they’re more likely to create inflammation in the body, and therefore worsen symptoms.

Net. Net: Stick with the real deal pumpkin – whether you’re talking seeds or puree. Need more reasons? Magnesium isn’t its only magic mineral, it’s packed with other health supportive nutrients that can help reduce inflammation (and symptoms) in the body.

Other great nutrients

Omega-3 fatty acids

Pumpkin seeds are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids where are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is suggested to be the root cause of chronic illness and a host of other problems, so anything that helps to put that fire out is a go!

Fiber

Fiber helps to keep us regular. Eliminating (pooping!) on a daily basis is essential to health. It’s one of our ways we detoxify, so we need to eliminate waste from the body. It’s recommended that women have about 25 grams of fiber daily. If you’re far off from this, increase gradually and with water. You stomach will not appreciate going from zero to 25 overnight.

Iron

If you experience heavy bleeds, it may be valuable to ask your doctor to check your iron levels. Low levels may be worsening your symptoms and fatigue. And if they are low, all the more reason to start popping the pumpkin seeds.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral the has recently been getting attention for being one that as a society we are deficient. For women, it can be especially important because this mineral helps to regulate the secretion of progesterone affecting PMS and menstrual cramps.

Final Note: Go raw!

Choose the raw verses roasted seeds which tend to have some nutrients killed off in the cooking process.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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