About Pumpkin – The Nutritious Jack-O-Lantern!
Pumpkins are the symbol of Halloween, with jack-o-lanterns glowing deep and spreading the spirit of trick or treating! However, pumpkins go way beyond being Halloween embellishments.
Pumpkin was discovered somewhere between 7000 and 5500 B.C and is a native to North America. This delicious tasting and aromatic fruit has a yellowish orange creased cover protecting the pulp and seeds inside.
Even though the fruit is generally a bright yellow or orange, its color may range from a radiant red, a glossy or pale green, to a rather dull grey too! Both the pulp and the seeds are consistent of various health boosting nutrients! Pumpkins are a wonderfully nutritious fruit and can help us fight a number of concerns effectively.
Pumpkins Nutritional Information
This delectable aromatic bright colored fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A, providing for a whopping 245% daily required value, 11% of dietary fiber, 19% of vitamin C and Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, niacin and thiamin. Pumpkins are also a rich source of minerals, covering an array of minerals such as that of calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and copper.
This fruit is excellent in terms of health as it is low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol and as a bright shiny silky ribbon around this very attractive package, low in sodium too!
Pumpkins Health Benefits!
Rich Source of Vitamin C!
The presence of vitamin C has a multitude of benefits pertaining to heart health. Vitamin C works wonderfully in prevention against heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes, by preventing cholesterol oxidation.
Moreover, vitamin C helps in the production of collagen which helps our bodies recuperate much faster from injuries and wounds. Additionally, the antioxidant property of Vitamin C also helps in cancer prevention.
Goldmine of Vitamin B Complexes!
Pumpkins house a variety of Vitamin B compounds. To name a few, this bright orange delight consists of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin etc. These various components are what keep that toxic waste and unwanted pollutants infecting our bodies, away! They are important for energy production, glossy nails and glowing skin, prevention of muscle cramps and spasms, elasticity of body tissues, maintenance of blood sugar levels and healthy hair.
Antioxidant Vitamin A!
Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A helps in protecting us from a host of problems such as that of cataracts, issues pertaining to the skin, pulmonary diseases and cancer. Vitamin A is also helps in strengthening the immunity system and is vital for healthy eyesight.
Another area where vitamin A is highly beneficial is with its production of the compound called ‘calcium phosphate’, which prevents the formation of solid particles in the urinary system.
Good for The Heart!
A cup of pumpkin contains a whopping 16% of potassium which is an essential mineral promoting a hearty functioning of the heart! Potassium is an important component required by the cells and in our body fluid that helps stabilize heart rates and blood pressure by counterbalancing effects of sodium.
This brightly lit jack-o-lantern making fruit houses a portion of calcium as well. Calcium is a mineral highly essential for boon fortification, growth and strong teeth!
The Manganese Goodness!
Manganese is highly essential for proper digestion and a healthy bone structure. A 200gram serving of pumpkins contains around 11% of manganese! Manganese primarily helps the body convert fat into energy, giving your body that rush it needs to perform every day! Manganese is also involved in blood sugar regulation and helps in keeping the immune system and the nervous system on its toes!
Pumpkins are consistent of a natural antioxidant called ‘zeaxanthin’ which helps us protect our eyesight from age related macular degeneration.
The Pumpkin Seed Trail!
Pumpkin seeds carry a host of wonderful benefits to our health!
- Prostate protection
- Improved bladder functioning
- Prevents osteoporosis as the seeds are high in zinc
- Relieves depression thanks to the presence of the compound ‘L-tryptophan’ which is known to alleviate depression.
- Research has shown for pumpkins to prevent kidney stone formation
- Lowers cholesterol, as the seeds contain ‘phytosterols’, a compound known to reduce cholesterol levels
- Anticancer, ‘phytosterols’ also provide protection against many cancers
How to Enjoy!
Pumpkin pies are always a popular demand! Go ahead and enjoy some pumpkin in the form of pumpkin pie! Not just that, pumpkin goes amazingly well with soufflés, soups, raviolis and custards!
Here’s an easy to cook pumpkin soup recipe! Put up a pot, add onions and garlic and cook till translucent, add the pumpkin to it and cook some more. Take the chicken stock and add it to the boiling mixture, some salt and a little cinnamon for added flavor and there you go with a steaming delicious pot of pumpkin soup!
Furthermore, pumpkin seeds make for amazing low calorie snacks! Nibbling on these seeds makes for a good treat at any time of the day!
Possible Health Concerns!
Pumpkin seeds consist of certain anti nutrient compounds which interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. Hence, the seeds should not be consumed in callous amounts. Even though pumpkins are not highly prone to pest attacks, it is always a safer option to consume organically grown fruits and veggies, as they reduce the risk of pesticide residues which can be detrimental to health.