Diet and Nutrition

Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Key Takeaways

  • Pumpkin is tagged as one of the super foods on account of the myriad health benefits one can derive from it.
  • It is a nutrient dense food and comes loaded with all the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
  • It provides you with more nutrition per serving than most other food items and is rich in beta-carotene and soluble dietary fiber.

Today, pumpkin is used in a variety of ways to flavor coffees, soups, rice, and deserts and even made into smoothies and slurpies. It is widely known for its wide ranging health benefits as it contains more antioxidants than most foods and also packs more nutrition per serving, thereby providing you with more energy per serving. What makes it easy to consume pumpkin is the fact that not a single part of this vegetable goes to waste and everything from its thick skin to the pulp to the seeds can be incorporated into various food items and consumed.

As mentioned earlier, nearly every part of the pumpkin can be used, and consumed, including the thick outer layer. Pumpkin seeds are quite nutritious, and make for a very healthy snack. Moreover, while you can get processed and salted pumpkin seeds at the market, it may be advisable to go in for the home-cooked version to ensure the seeds do not lose out any of their health benefits. The seeds are packed with all the requisite minerals, vitamins and proteins and also contain a disproportionately high dietary fiber which is why consuming these seeds is beneficial.

Blood pressure

If you happen to suffer from low or high blood pressure, then it is likely that even your doctor would have advised you to include pumpkin in your diet. This is mainly because that pumpkin contains large amounts of potassium, thereby enabling you to regulate your blood pressure better. Also, it contains a high amount of soluble dietary fiber which serves to further regulate blood pressure levels in the body.

As important as it is for you to reduce your sodium intake on account of your blood pressure, it is equally important that you are able to increase your potassium intake as well. The increased potassium should help you to regulate your blood pressure levels and also prevent muscle degenerative diseases. A diet rich in potassium works wonders on your vision and prevents the same from deteriorating.

More importantly, if you were to opt for a diet rich in potassium, then you could also lower your risk of health conditions like stroke. Moreover. the increased potassium should prevent the formation of kidney stones and should help to boost your overall health.

Cancer

A single slice of pumpkin packs in more punch than most vegetables do and that’s probably on account of the complex plant compounds, vitamins and minerals that it contains.

Apart from this, the pumpkin fruit and its seeds also happens to be rich in beta-carotene which can help to inhibit and limit prostate cancer. It has been found that beta-carotene manages to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body as well. It has an inverse relation to this particular cancer and various studies have been undertaken that help validate the same. 

As pumpkin is also rich in dietary fiber, consuming this fruit or vegetable should help to clean all the toxins from your body including all those toxins that can cause cancer. The dietary fiber should help to eliminate most of these toxins and should also reduce your risk from cancer and stroke.

This is why it makes more sense for you to start adding pumpkin to your regular diet given the wide ranging health benefits it comes loaded with. Moreover, with a regular diet of pumpkin, you should be able to lower your risk from most cancers and even help prevent prostate cancer.

Fertility

While there are no conclusive proofs that eating pumpkin can either increase your libido or make you more fertile, the fact remains that pumpkins are packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene and various vitamins. So if women, especially pregnant women consume pumpkin, it can help to offset some of their morning sickness problems and enable them to boost their metabolic health, as well as their blood pressure among others.

Pumpkins are extremely rich in dietary fiber and for pregnant women, this vegetable is quite necessary as it helps to clean their body of all unwanted toxins, and repairs their body against any and all damage from free radicals. So for pregnant women, a diet rich in pumpkin is quite necessary and essential. In fact, if you are pregnant, then your doctor would have most likely advised you to consume more of pumpkin as it can help to boost your overall immune system and help to boost the health of your infant as well.

Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc which in men, increases their libido and overall sexual performance. This is one of the reasons why, if you are a man, you would want to opt for pumpkin seeds as it is also a rich and nourishing snack.

Immune system

If you have just had a surgery or are immune compromised, then chances are that your immune system is extremely weakened. This is one of the side effects of having a sudden surgery; your immune system goes for a toss. As a result, it leaves you more susceptible to infections and at such a time eating a diet rich in beta-carotene should help to boost your immune system. It is essential that you are able to improve your immune system right away before another infection can take hold.

Eating pumpkin should enable you to do just that since it contains various antioxidants and beta-carotene which will not only boost your immune system but also enable you to fight off infections more effectively. This fruit or vegetable boosts up your immune system to more optimal levels and also enables the same to function seamlessly. The good thing about pumpkin is that you can easily incorporate it into various dishes from soups to coffees.

Degenerative Eye diseases  

Pumpkin is loaded with more antioxidants per serving than any other vegetable as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and beta-carotene, all of which ensure that your eyes are not affected by any age-related degenerative disease and that you are able to enjoy good vision for a while to come. As the vegetable is loaded with potassium and antioxidants, it should serve to boost your metabolic health. Apart from which, it provides you with twice the daily quota for Vitamin A, which can serve to slowdown retinal degenerative diseases.

Additionally, it comes with other health benefits such as the nourishing effect on skin tone. When it comes to boosting your eye health, pumpkin heads the list as one of the most healthy vegetables to take.

The fact remains that by eating pumpkin you are more likely to boost your vision and prevent your eyes and your vision from being impacted by age-related macular degeneration. In fact, if you are facing issues with your vision on account of your age, then it is highly likely that a diet rich in pumpkin can help to offset the same.

Digestive System

Pumpkin comes with higher proportion of soluble dietary fiber to pulp than any other fruit or vegetable. The dietary fiber actually aids in digestion and enables you to digest food more efficiently, and also helps your body in better absorption of the nutrients from your food.

Enables weight loss

Pumpkin is rich in dietary fiber which actually helps you to feel fuller and decreases your appetite. Its complex protein and vitamin make-up can help to speed up your metabolism to the point that you can burn off extra calories more effectively.

Mashed pumpkin contains only about 50 grams of calories per serving so essentially you would not be consuming a lot of calories per serving. You should be able to process it faster and digest the same efficiently and increase your nutrient absorption rate as well.

Enables you to sleep better

If you are finding it difficult to sleep, it could be indicative of more serious health issues for which you would need to consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. However, in the meanwhile, you can move on to eating more pumpkin since its seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid which actually induces sleepiness. This is why most people often feel sleepy on eating pumpkin.

So if you are worried that you have not been able to get regular sleep for a while now, then you can start consuming more  pumpkin to take care of the problem. Do note that your sleeplessness could be indicative of other health issues which are why, irrespective of the changes you may make to your diet; you still need to go in for a complete checkup. Your physician would be better placed to advise you regarding any health issue that could be causing you to experience sleeplessness but do go ahead and add pumpkin to your regular diet.

Prevent Heart attacks

Since both the seeds and the vegetable contain large amounts of soluble dietary fiber, this should help to clean your circulatory system of various toxins including those that can impact your cardiovascular health. More importantly, opting for a diet rich in pumpkin should enable to increase your overall health, and also should help to eliminate triglycerides from your body.

By eliminating the bad cholesterol, it should improve your cardiovascular health and even help prevent heart attacks.

Skin

Since pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, consuming them should actually help you to repair any damages to your skin. The antioxidant should also help to eliminate the free radicals from your system, thereby eliminating them before they can cause any further harm.  Additionally, pumpkin extract can be mixed with milk and honey and then applied to the face which should help to revitalize and nourish your skin. The process repairs damages to your skin from your current environment, and makes you look younger.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the pumpkin is not a magic elixir, one that can magically turn over the years, but given its nutrient and protein make-up, it may as well be one. This is why you may want to opt for pumpkin and make it part of your regular diet given its various health benefits.

And the good news is that this vegetable can be cooked in various ways, from frying, sautéing to baking. So what are you waiting for, go ahead and start consuming it right away.