Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkins belong to the cucurbita family and are from the same family as cucumbers. The name has Greek origins from the word ‘pepon’ meaning large melon. While many varieties of pumpkins are available, typically, they are deep orange or green in color.
So what about pumpkins?
Well, there’s more to pumpkins than the Halloween Jack-O-lantern. Pumpkins are filled with essential nutrients that provide many health benefits.
Pumpkin benefits can be derived from its leaves, fleshy shell, seeds, and the flowers. Pumpkins are rich in vitamins, pantothenic acid, folate, antioxidants, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Pumpkins are consumed either boiled, steamed or stir fried.
What are the advantages of eating pumpkins?
Some of the health benefits and medicinal uses of pumpkins are as follows.
- Beta carotene and other vitamins present in pumpkin help in regeneration of cells. The antioxidants help in revitalizing the body and skin and preventing free radical damage.
- Pumpkin’s rich potassium content lowers the risk of hypertension.
- Zinc found in pumpkins boosts the immune system and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Dietary fiber helps in digestion and aids in prevention of heart diseases, cancer, and low blood sugar levels.
- Pumpkins can help you lose weight. Pumpkins are rich in fiber and contain abundant water, so they can keep you fuller for longer, providing you with essential minerals and vitamins, minus the fat.
- Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 aids in maintaining hormonal balance; it also helps relieve stress.
- Green pumpkins help abate cholesterol levels, fatigue, and indigestion.
- Pumpkins and their seeds contain essential fatty acids that help maintain normal cell growth, keeping the skin and other tissues soft and supple.
- Pumpkin seeds contain protective compounds, phytosterols, which are beneficial in shrinking prostate cancer. Phytosterols helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterones (DHT); DHT is one of the causative agents for the enlargement of the prostate and prostate cancer. Pumpkin seeds are thus recommended for keeping the prostate healthy.
- Pumpkin seed oil is considered advantageous for treating kidneys, arthritis, and diabetes. It is considered to be anti-parasitic in nature. Pumpkins help in countering substances that trigger production of kidney stones. Pumpkin seeds are used treat urinary problems and gastritis and are helpful in expelling roundworms and tapeworms.
- Pumpkin seed oil is said to enhance production of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Most of the medicinal uses and health benefits of pumpkins have not been substantiated through research; thus, it is best take medical advice before using pumpkin to treat or manage any health condition.