There is much more to pumpkins than Halloween decorations and cake fillings. Orange pumpkins are very rich in nutrients, while also low in calories. Pumpkin seeds too offer tremendous health benefits.
Pumpkins contain vitamins A, complex B, C and E, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper, folic acid, carotenoids and other antioxidants. They are favored particularly by their high content of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
Although beta-carotene is also available as a supplement, it is best to get through the foods in your diet because the supplement is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
You can include pumpkin in your diet by adding pumpkin puree to soups, casseroles, pasta and garbanzo puree sauce. In addition, you can add it to your plate of oatmeal, yogurt, shakes and baked goods. It can also be used as a substitute for butter and oil.
Top 10 Properties & Benefits of Pumpkin for health :
1. Reduce Inflammation
The carotenoids responsible for giving the pumpkins their bright orange color also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They help reduce inflammation that can lead to a number of chronic health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis
Beta-carotene also helps prevent the build-up of cholesterol in the arterial walls. Alpha-carotene slows down the aging process and prevents the growth of tumors.The antioxidant vitamin E protects against certain types of cancer and also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Only 1/2 cup of pumpkin provides more than 100 percent of its recommended daily allowance (RDA) for beta and alpha-carotene.
2. Power Prenatal Feeding
Pumpkins and toasted pumpkin seeds are good for pregnant women because of their numerous nutrients for prenatal development. In addition, they provide digestive benefits and can also relieve abdominal cramps during pregnancy.
Pumpkins contain iron that prevents anemia, carries oxygen to the baby, and reduces the chance of preterm labor. Do not eat this super food as it can cause abdominal discomfort.
3. Post-Training Food
Pumpkins, sweet potatoes and zucchini are some food choices after workouts. These starch-rich, nutrient-rich foods provide carbohydrates and, unlike fruits, replenish muscle glycogen instead of hepatic glycogen.This is particularly useful when you are struggling to gain weight or muscle. It is also beneficial for those undergoing athletic training. A cup of boiled pumpkin or a pumpkin smoothie will also help recharge your potassium levels to restore electrolyte balance in the body after a hard workout.
4. Reduce High Blood Pressure
The high potassium content in pumpkins helps control high blood pressure. Your vitamin C also lowers blood pressure. One cup of cooked canned pumpkin satisfies 20 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C.In addition, high vitamin A in this super food promotes good functioning of the heart, lungs and kidneys. Its rich fiber content also keeps cholesterol levels under control, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Promotes Fertility
The B vitamins present in pumpkins and pumpkin seeds support fertility. It has also been shown that the antioxidant vitamin E improves fertility in both men and women.
It protects cell membranes from toxic compounds, improving sperm health and motility, and increases the thickness of the endometrium in women with thin uterine lining.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have benefits to increase fertility. They help increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, regulate reproductive hormones and reduce stress.
6. Improves Eye Health
A cup of cooked canned pumpkin provides more than 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin A. Vitamin A helps vision, especially in dim light, and helps protect the surface of (corneal) eyes. It is useful for maintaining healthy skin, tissues and mucous membranes.In addition, pumpkins are filled with carotenoids such as beta-carotene and alpha-carotene which reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and prevent cataracts. The powerful antioxidants in gourds protect cells in the retina from free radical damage by neutralizing free radicals.
7. Increases Immunity
Pumpkins are a storehouse of nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, iron, magnesium and others. Vitamin A helps with cellular communication, which is essential for tissues that protect against pathogens. Beta-carotene also has stimulating properties of the immune system.
Vitamin C also works as an immune booster as it fights infection. In addition, various minerals ensure proper immune function. Pumpkin seeds, high in zinc, are also good for the immune system. Zinc protects the body against oxidative damage.
Being high in fiber, pumpkins are good for digestion. Fiber helps your body digest food efficiently and absorb nutrients. This helps to move food through the digestive tract, prevents constipation, absorbs water and adds volume to the stool, thus controlling diarrhea. However, do not eat too ripe or immature pumpkins.In addition, raw pumpkin juice cures heartburn. You can simply take a cup of pumpkin juice mixed with a little honey 3 times a day for relief. Preferably, it should take about 30 minutes before meals. It can also help eliminate intestinal worms and works as a mild sedative.
9. Supports Weight Loss
Pumpkins are low in calories and high in fiber. Fiber is known to maintain the feeling of satiety for longer, thus controlling appetite. Its high potassium content helps eliminate excess salt and water, which reduces the weight of water.
In addition, pumpkins have a high glycemic index (IG 75), but low glycemic load (GL 3). A low glycemic load diet is believed to be more satiating than a high glycemic load diet. The low glycemic load diet restores your energy balance by increasing satiety and reducing food consumption.
10. Promotes Younger-Looking Skin
High vitamin A in pumpkins provides benefits against aging and promotes a younger and healthier appearance of the skin. In addition, beta-carotene present in pumpkins can help reduce skin damage caused by the sun.
Vitamin C and E content in orange gourds also improves skin health. They stimulate the production of collagen and promote a radiant complexion.Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid in this super food helps reduce the signs of aging like skin blemishes. In addition to edible pumpkins, you can also apply pumpkin juice or pulp on your skin.