Pumpkins come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Orange or yellow, dark or pale green, these fruits offer loads of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Pumpkins
- Fiber-rich fruit – Pumpkins are rich in fiber and account for one cup of fruit, providing up to 11% of our daily fiber requirement. The seeds of this fruit are also rich in fiber, and can be consumed in multiple ways, like roasted or baked.
- Vitamins – Pumpkins have an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and C. Vitamin A is essential for good vision, it can improve bone health, and it can help make your immune system stronger. About 40% of the daily requirement of vitamin K can be obtained from the consumption of this fruit. It also provides about 20% of the requirement of vitamin C that an individual needs for one day. These two vitamins are essential for the protection of the heart, and it repairs body tissue. Both of these vitamins are major anti-oxidants, which are compounds that protect the body from oxidative damage.
- Minerals – This fruit has a great source of iron, potassium, and magnesium. This is important because, unlike the usual foods we consume for iron, this fruit is fat-free. Pumpkins account for almost all of the minerals an individual needs to consume daily. This helps to improve muscle functioning and the immune system. Pumpkin seeds are a great source for these minerals as well.
- B-complex vitamin – Pumpkins have a rich source of folates, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- Low-calorific value – This is a low-calorie fruit, with just 26 calories in 100 grams of the fruit. Pumpkins are beneficial in any weight loss programs.
- Low-fat content – This fruit contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very popular in cholesterol control and weight loss.
Pumpkin seeds can provide numerous health benefits. They have a great source of tryptophan, a compound that helps to fight depression. Pumpkin seeds contain a number of other phytonutrients, like manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, and iron. They contain phytosterols that help to reduce "bad" cholesterol, and improve the levels of "good" cholesterol. These seeds are valued as a good source of zinc. They also contain a diverse mixture of antioxidants.
So, whether you consume the fruit itself, or the seeds, pumpkins can be considered the ultimate super food!