Fall is slowly showing its shyly face and all our fall favorite fruits and veggies are coming along the way, and pumpkin as well.
As pumpkin is one of the widely grown vegetables, incredibly rich in bodily vital antioxidants and vitamins, it is also used in many recipes nowadays.
Though this humble backyard vegetable is less in calories, nonetheless, it carries loads of vitamin A and antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotenes that are vital for proper body function.
You won’t miss if you put it on your daily menu whether roasted, steamed and used in puree for juice combos and even soups.
Have you tried pumpkin and chestnut soup? It is simply delicious.
Pumpkin Health Benefits
This simple veggie carries many health benefits and we made a round up to share them with you.
Younger Look Appearance
If you want to preserve your youthful look – don’t avoid this veggie.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this veggie is 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 and youthful-looking skin.
It is literally a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins and you won’t regret if you consume pumpkin more often.
Help In Loosing Weight
It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. Only 100 g provides just 26 calories, and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
However, as it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, it is one of the food items recommended by dietitians 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.
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 population.
It is also a good source of B-complex group of vitamins and minerals as well :
- vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
- pantothenic acid
Regulates The Blood Pressure
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content are all the support your heart needs, so don’t avoid it.
Consuming adequate potassium is almost as important as decreasing sodium intake for treatment of hypertension (high-blood pressure).
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.
So, why waiting? Go buy some!
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.
According to a 2014 study, both pumpkin seed oil and a combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil may improve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms.
Researchers concluded that pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil are safe and effective alternative treatments for BPH (source).
It is also have been shown that Beta-carotene 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) can 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.
And, the vitamin A in pumpkin is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis, so it is good info for the new moms to be.
Benefit Of The 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.
They are healthy.
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 so mouthwatering…
The pumpkin season finally came and the reasons to celebrate are many!
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