Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite health benefits of pumpkin. Let us know what else you love about pumpkins in the comments!
This fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. Though this humble backyard vegetable is less in calories, nonetheless, it carries vitamin A, and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.
Pumpkin Health Benefits
Younger Look Appearance
According to the Mayo Clinic,pumpkins are an amazing source of vitamin A, an anti-aging nutrient that jump-starts your skin’s cell renewal process and increases the production of collagen for smooth, youthful-looking skin.This fruit is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
Help In Loosing Weight
It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. It means,100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.However, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Loads Of Vitamins
It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as a, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it may offer protection from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Regulates The Blood Pressure
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.
Consuming adequate potassium is almost as important as decreasing sodium intake for treatment of hypertension (high-blood pressure). Other foods that are high in potassium include cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes, oranges, spinach and bananas.
Increased potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
One particular type of cancer where research has shown a positive benefits of a diet rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.
Improves Eye Health
The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene (all of which pumpkin has) have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.
A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease the risk of and progression of age related macular degeneration.
For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets appear to promote fertility, according Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.
Benefit Of Pumpkin Seeds
The seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health.
In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%), but no cholesterol.
Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.
How To Incorporate It Into Your Diet Plan
Look for the sweet or pie pumpkin varieties for cooking, which are smaller and sweeter. Make sure your pumpkin has a few inches of stem left and that it is hard and heavy for its size. Store uncut pumpkins in a cool dark place for up to two months.
- Make your own puree instead of buying canned
- Use pumpkin puree or canned one in place of oil or butter in any baking recipe
Tip:Make a quick treat of pumpkin chocolate yogurt by combining Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin, honey, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
Pumpkin bread, ravioli,pie, risotto, pumpkin beer — the options are endless, and endlessly mouthwatering. It’s finally pumpkin season, and the reasons to celebrate are many.