Hi! I am Rashmi Nandgaonkar presenting you with numerous benefits of Pumpkin.
The word pumpkin mostly reminds one of haloween,thanksgiving or vegetable carving. Nature has rightfully gifted the great size to pumpkin so as to accommodate all the promising good health benefits in it, which remain intact even if it is stored for a whole year after harvesting.
A pumpkin is full of good health. The pumpkin belongs to the ‘cucurbita’ family including squash and cucumbers. The name pumpkin is derived from the greek word ‘Pepon’ for large melon.
Below listed are the numerous benefits of pumpkin. These will help you to rediscover the pumpkin you think you already knew.
1. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients like potassium, beta-carotene, folate, vitamins A, E & C.
2. The potassium in pumpkin helps in lowering the risk for hypertension.
3. Pumpkin aids in bone density support for people vulnerable to osteoporosis. The zinc in pumpkin improves our immune system and energy. It also stimulates the bio-chemical reactions.
4. The rich orange color of the pumpkin is due to the presence of beta-carotene – a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. This reduces the risk of certain cancers like lung and colon cancer.
5. Beta-carotene also prevents in cholesterol build-up in blood vessels thus preventing heart-attacks and stroke.
6. Pumpkin is very beneficial for vision owing to the presence of beta-carotene which converts into vitamin A within the body.
7. Pumpkin is also very effective on skin disorders. The presence of Vitamin A and E in a pumpkin makes it skin friendly.
8. It also has anti-aging properties.
9. The pumpkin is also rich in minerals like copper, iron and magnesium with acknowledgeable benefits needful for the body.
10. Copper helps in the absorption of the iron which provides oxygen to the body and thus aids in treating anemia.
11. Magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium strengthening bones and teeth.
12. The phosphorus helps in the bone formation and balances the fluids and electrolytes level in the body.
13. The other anti-oxidants present in the pumpkin like lutein and zeaxanthin reduces the risk of macular degenerations and cataracts.
14. The pumpkin skin is also good in antibacterial properties against any kind of microbes that cause yeast infections.
Besides the above benefits of pumpkin flesh and skin the seeds are also high in therapeutic values. Their contribution in good health cannot be ignored such as under listed:
15. Only one ounce of pumpkin seeds serves almost 7 grams of proteins. Some parts of Indian –subcontinent uses these seeds in the form of spices or even eaten raw.
16. One of the important benefits of pumpkin seeds is it prevents or lowers the risk of prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate.
17. The seeds are also essential in treating the symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
18. They are also used in the treatment of many illnesses such as kidney, gallbladder problems. The oil extract from these seeds is used for the same.
19. The seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids which have the ability to reduce the cholesterol level in the blood.
20. As shown in one of the clinical research in Thailand, pumpkin seeds have found to be effective lowering the levels of substances that inhibit stone formation.
21. Pumpkin seeds are natural diuretics. Traditionally they have been known to be used to flush out excess toxins and fluid from the body.
22. The juice of these seeds prepared by crushing them, is very effective as an anti-helminthic, to kill intestinal parasites, round worms or tapeworms.
23. The seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute towards healthy mind reducing the symptoms of depression and aiding memory.
24. The abundant value of zinc in the pumpkin seeds aids in improving the sperm production in men and healthy functioning of prostate. They are also believed to be effective in improving the libido.
25. The pumpkin as said earlier helps in preventing the enlargement of prostate, the seeds have been found to be of great benefit in reducing the urinating discomfort in men with enlarged prostate, especially the seed oil extract.
26. Some traditional uses of pumpkin seeds have been found in the history of some prominent tribes. Some of them are listed below:
a. Yuma tribes created an emulsion from pumpkin seeds and watermelon to help heal wounds. The seed oil was also used in treating burns and wounds.
b. Catawabas ate pumpkin seeds either fresh or dry as medicine for kidney support.
c. Some tribes believed the ground stem of pumpkin helped in relieving the symptoms of dysmenorrhea in women.
Though these remedies are considered traditional, the nutrient values of a pumpkin give a logic stand to them.
27. Apart from the nutritional values and healing properties pumpkin are also used in varied forms as in dried flattened thin strips used in making mats ( native American tribes ), also used in making of stringed musical instruments ( ancient Indian tribes ).
So, you see pumpkin is not only to be remembered as a scary face or jack-o-lanterns, or to be used as cutie nicknames, it definitely deserves its place in your kitchen or on your platter.Go ahead and pick up a pumpkin today from the market to cook and not carve.
The author of this article is Rashmi Nandgoankar, is a registered nurse and mid-wife currently managing her own hospital in India. She has also successfully completed numerous workshops in special education on special children, ayurvedic cooking. Recipeint of the Mayor's award for the title of Best Nurse during her working experience. She is an avid reader, enjoys creative cooking and spending spare time with her kids.