Pumpkin Benefits For Health: This brightly colored, “cheerful looking” vegetable is rich in plenty of nutrients, making it a very valuable vegetable from a health perspective. It is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants such as xanthine, carotenoids and lutein. It is also a good source of B complex vitamins like folate, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamine. Mineral wise, it is rich in iron, copper, potassium, calcium and phosphorus the health benefits of pumpkin include:
1. Low in Calories
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is a very low calorie vegetable. 100 grams of pumpkin provide only 26 calories. Most dieticians recommend pumpkin in their weight reduction programs.
2. Rich Source of Beta Carotene
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, The distinctive bright orange color of pumpkin indicates that it is a rich source of beta carotene. People who eat a diet rich in beta carotene are less likely to develop cancer. Beta-Cryptoxanthin and carotenoids in pumpkin decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers and reduce inflammation.
3. Reduces Asthma Attacks
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, The antioxidant properties of pumpkin protect the respiratory system from infections, reducing asthma attacks.
4. Rich Source of Potassium
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Potassium is an important mineral required for proper functioning of the heart and muscles. One serving of pumpkin provides around 334 mg of potassium, making it one of the highest sources of potassium. You can add pumpkin to your post workout snack or meal for the extra potassium boost.
5. Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin helps to get rid of build-up of arterial deposits, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes. The high amount of antioxidants in pumpkin also prevents atherosclerosisi (hardening of arteries). It minimizes the risk of high blood pressure. Pumpkin also has a high amount of phytosterol, which is very similar to human cholesterol. It normalizes the cholesterol to a healthy level.
6. Boosts Immune System
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin provides ample amounts of magnesium for maintaining muscle function and boosting the immune system. It boosts the immunity system by increasing the production of white blood cells in the body. This builds a resistance to various kinds of infections like cold, flu and fever.
7. May Prevent Peptic Ulcer
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is an amazing detoxifying food. It is an innate diuretic, which is useful for flushing out toxins and wastes from the body. The medicinal properties of pumpkin calm the gastrointestinal tract to prevent peptic ulcer.
8. Rich Source of Fiber
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A. This aids in digestion and prevents constipation. It also keeps the stomach full for longer periods of time.
9. Reduces Stress and Depression
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Lack of tryptophan in the body often leads to depression. Pumpkin is rich in L-tryptophan, an amino-acid which reduces depression and stress. Research also touts pumpkin as a natural antidepressant. The sedative properties of pumpkin may even help in treating insomnia.
10. Rich Source of Vitamin A
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is an excellent source of Vitamin A. This nutrient is required to keep the eye healthy, maintain good vision and improve eyesight. Zeaxanthin in pumpkin also helps filter UV rays in the retina of the eyes. This protects from the age-related macular diseasesi in the elderly.
11. Prevents Inflammatory Diseases
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Regular consumption of pumpkin also reduces the risk of developing inflammatory diseases. It also may help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, though more research is warranted in this regard.
12. Protects Against Prostate Cancer
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, The high content of carotenoids and zinc in pumpkin protects against prostate cancer. It prevents the enlargement of prostate and over stimulation of the male hormones that cause prostate problems.
13. Rich Source of Vitamin K
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is one of the best sources of Vitamin K. It contains around 40% of the daily recommended dose. Vitamin K is very beneficial for the growth of bones and heart health. Vitamin C in pumpkin is needed for proper growth and repair of the tissues in the body. One serving of pumpkins provides 20% of the daily recommended dosage.
Pumpkins can be used in various ways, some of which are given below.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkins should always be cooked at medium temperatures because high temperatures can cause their flesh to become stringy. In case your pumpkin becomes stringy while cooking, you can beat the pulp with an electric mixer on high speed for about 10 seconds and then switch to low speed for about 60 seconds. Strings should be wrapped around the beaters to facilitate easy removal.
Cooked mashed pumpkins can be used in cake and muffin recipes to impart moisture and texture. Shelled pumpkin seeds can be a healthy alternative to pine nuts in many recipes.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, For making pumpkin pies, you can either use homemade pureed pumpkin or canned ones. It is advisable to bake rather than steam or boil pumpkin in order to alleviate excess moisture. It should be mashed and drained through cheesecloth before being used in pies.
Pumpkin pies are one of America’s favorite dishes. In a YouGov survey involving 1,055 adults in the United States, 35% of people planning to celebrate Thanksgiving stated that they prefer pumpkin pie. About 37% of the respondents celebrating Thanks giving Day make their pie from scratch, while 32% mentioned that their pies are usually homemade but incorporate some store-bought shortcuts. The rest 26% opt for store-bought pies.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Roasted pumpkin is a delicious vegetarian dish for any occasion. For this purpose, preheat the oven at 210 degrees. Cut a half fresh pumpkin into desired sized pieces. Place the pumpkin on a baking dish with some oil drizzled on top and mix with a metal spoon to coat well. Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary over the pumpkin and place it in the oven. Take the dish out after half an hour, mix the pumpkin and place it in the oven for another half an hour or till it becomes soft and brown.
Pumpkin seeds known as pepitas can be roasted and enjoyed as snacks. You can prepare a sweet and salty snack using these seeds. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spread out the seeds on a baking sheet and bake until dry for about 50 to 60 minutes.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Now increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. taking out the dish, toss the seeds with butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Now return the seeds to the baking sheet, tossing occasionally until golden brown for 10 to 15 minutes.
Pumpkin seed oil is an important by-product of pumpkin seeds. This oil can be mixed with other oils for cooking, salad dressings and other purposes due to its strong flavor and color.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, You can prepare a delicious soup by combining pumpkin and leek. All you need to do is heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Then add leeks, celery and garlic, cook until they become soft, for about 25 minutes. Stir in 1 ¾ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Ladle the soup into a blender and blend until it is smooth. Pour it in a bowl and top with rosemary.
Pumpkin chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips. Heat about 1 ½ inches of peanut oil in a soup pot over medium to high heat. Gently add the pumpkin slices and sauté for 3 minutes or until they turn golden. The chips on being ready will begin to float on the top. Carefully remove the chips from the oil with the help of a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined platter. Season them with salt and serve.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Sautéed pumpkins is a delicious dish for autumn. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large skillet and add about 1 ½ pounds of seeded, peeled and cut pumpkin chunks. Then stir pieces to coat well. Cover the skillet, cook until the pumpkin chunks turn soft, mixing occasionally.
Now uncover the skillet and sauté for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden brown and fork-tender. The sautéed pumpkin can be seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with maple syrup. It should be served warm.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, You can prepare the delicious pumpkin bread by combining canned pumpkin puree with whole wheat flour. For this purpose, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat two loaf pans with cooking spray. Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, In another large bowl, whisk egg whites, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Add this pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the batter into the prepared pans and smoothen the top. Bake the loaves until their tops turn golden brown for about 50-60 minutes. Turn the loaves out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Your pumpkin bread is ready.
Pumpkin Benefits For Health, Pumpkin is an excellent food choice for those following a low-fat, gluten-free, or vegan diet. It can reduce skin oiliness, exhibit anti-aging effects, and help treat dark spots and acne. It also conditions hair and promotes hair growth. It may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and aid in weight loss as well. You can include pumpkins in various dishes for baking and use their seeds too. Regular intake can offer important benefits.