Why Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seeds Are Good For You? Some Nutritional And Health Benefits

About Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a squash like vegetable belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. Though a fruit, not in the conventional sense that we have come to recognize them, it is considered a vegetable.

In India, Pumpkin is called Petha Kaddu or Kaddu.

Latin Name : Cucurbita Species cultivars like Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata.

Pumpkin is native to North America. Though commonly pumpkins vary from 4 to 8 kgs weight to the weightier ones at about 35 kgs, there are extremes of some weighing as low as 1 pound to the massive ones weighing over 1000 pounds.

The shape of pumpkin can vary from oblate to oblong. The skin is smooth but ribbed. The skin and flesh is usually orange yellow but fruits have been seen to have colors ranging from white to red to gray and even green colors.

All pumpkin plants bear both the male and female flowers. The female flower can be distinguished by the presence of the swollen ovary at the base of the petals as seen in the picture.

Pumpkins are produced all over the world and India, China, Mexico, United States and Canada are the biggest producers of pumpkin in the world.


The Pumpkin Fruit
The Pumpkin Fruit

Uses Of Pumpkin

All parts of the pumpkin like the flesh, seeds, leaves, flowers are edible and can be used in more ways than one. Pumpkin can be cooked in a variety of ways and eaten like boiled, baked, steamed and roasted.

Pumpkin is used in soups and purees and often made into a pie. Pumpkin is used to make sweet dishes in the Middle East while in Myanmar it is used to make desserts apart from using it in cooking. Pumpkin is also used to flavor alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.

Roasted pumpkin seeds called pepitas are popularly used as a snack while the pumpkin seed oil is used both for cooking as well as a salad oil.

Canned pumpkin is usually recommended by veterinarians for correcting digestive upsets in dogs and cats.

Raw pumpkin is fed to poultry to maintain egg production in the winters the season when the production tends to drop.

Pumpkins are used to carve decorative lanterns called Jack-o-lanterns for the Halloween season in North America.

Pumpkin is used to make exfoliating face masks, body butter, pumpkin candles and other DIY projects at home.

Soft and squishy pumpkins can be put in the compost bin along with the skin and guts.


Nutrients/Nutritional Benefits Of Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin is low in calories and provides just 26 calories per 100 grams.
  • It is free of all types of fats and cholesterol.
  • It is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C and E.
  • Pumpkin is a wonderful source of many polyphenolic flavonoids like beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • It provides about 246% of the daily recommended levels of vitamin A.
  • It is a good source of the B complex vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin and pantothenic acid.
  • Pumpkin is rich in the minerals copper, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
  • It is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins, and are high in calories providing about 559 calories, 30 grams of protein, 110% of the daily requirements of iron, 31% of niacin, 17% of selenium, 71% of zinc etc. They are free of cholesterol.
  • The seeds are excellent source of tryptophan, the health promoting amino acid.


Nutrients In Pumpkin Seeds dried

 
Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.), dried
 
 
Nutritive value per 100 g.
 
 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
 
Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
559 Kcal
28%
Carbohydrates
10.71 g
8%
Protein
30.23 g
54%
Total Fat
49.05 g
164%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
6 g
16%
Vitamins
 
 
Folates
58 µg
15%
Niacin
4.987 mg
31%
Pantothenic acid
0.750 mg
15%
Pyridoxine
0.143 mg
11%
Riboflavin
0.153 mg
12%
Thiamin
0.273 mg
23%
Vitamin A
16 IU
0.5%
Vitamin C
1.9 µg
3%
Vitamin E
35.10 mg
237%
 
 
 
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
7 mg
0.50%
Potassium
809 mg
17%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
46 mg
4.5%
Copper
1.343 mg
149%
Iron
8.82 mg
110%
Magnesium
592 mg
148%
Manganese
4.543 mg
198%
Phosphorus
1233 mg
176%
Selenium
9.4 µg
17%
Zinc
7.81 mg
71%
Phyto-nutrients
 
 
 
 
--
Beta-Carotene
9 µg
--
-Beta Cryptoxanthin
1 µg
--
Lutein-zeaxanthin
74 µg
--

Health Benefits Of Pumpkin

  • The carotenoids in pumpkin keep the eyesight sharp and reduce risk of age related macular degeneration and cataract.
    A cup of cooked pumpkins provide over 200% of the daily requirements of vitamin A and good levels of vitamin A is needed for eye health.
    The carotenoids that the pumpkin is rich in, especially beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A.
  • Pumpkin helps in losing weight.
    Pumpkin provides just 50 calories per cup of serving but it provides 3 grams of dietary fiber which helps to keep the stomach full longer on lower calories, thus helping to keep off both hunger and weight at bay.
  • Pumpkin seeds benefit the heart.
    The phytosterols of which the pumpkin is a good source help in lowering LDL or the bad cholesterol.+
  • According to the National Cancer Institute the orange pigment beta carotene possibly plays a role in reducing cancer risk. This is especially so when beta carotene is obtained from food rather than supplements. The phytosterols also reduce risk of certain cancers.
    The beta cryptoxanthin decreases risk of lung cancer in smokers.
  • Pumpkin protects the skin
    The carotenoids in pumpkin neutralize free radicals and also keep the skin wrinkle free and delay aging.
  • Because pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan, the consumption of seeds helps in the production of the mood elevator serotonin.
    Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds will keep one's mood perked up.
  • A cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. Potassium restores the body's electrolyte balance after a heavy workout and also keeps the muscles working at their optimum.
    Potassium also helps to lower the risk of hypertension.
  • Pumpkin boosts the immune system.
    Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin C providing almost 20% of the women's daily needs, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Vitamin C is known to boost immunity levels.
  • The zinc content in pumpkin improves the bone density while the calcium and phosphorus make the bones strong.
  • Pumpkin seeds that are a bit old in age increase in nutritive value. In tests, the Massachusetts Experimental Station found that pumpkin seeds stored for more than 5 months showed increased protein levels.
  • Pumpkin seeds prevent formation of calcium oxalate stones in kidneys.
  • Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds reduce inflammation in arthritis.
  • Pumpkin seeds are good for prostate health and alleviate urinary problems associated with enlarged prostate..
  • Pumpkin seeds though not a very good source of vitamin E in the form of alpha tocopherol contain a wide variety of forms of this vitamin.
    It has been found that the health benefits from any vitamin are more when that vitamin is made available in all its different forms.
    In case of pumpkin seeds vitamin E is available in the following forms : alpha tocopherol, gamma tocopherol, delta tocopherol, delta tocopherol, alpha tocomonenol and gamma tocomonoenol. The wide range of forms brings more benefits than one would otherwise get with vitamin E.
  • Pumpkin seeds, seed extracts and seed oil have anti microbial properties including being antifungal and antiviral.


According to whfoods, pumpkin seeds should not be roasted for more than 15 to 20 minutes as otherwise unwanted changes occur in the fat structure.

References

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/foods-vision_n_1632176.html#slide=1155040
  • http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/food-weight-loss/6-most-overlooked-foods-weight-loss?page=3
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10625028
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15797686
  • http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm
  • http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants
  • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/38311826/ns/health-cancer/t/disease-fighting-superfoods/#.UGxy4_l272A
  • http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20481238_8,00.html
  • http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-tryptophan
  • http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/5-reasons-eat-toasted-pumpkin-seeds
  • http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/SummaryDRIs/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/5_Summary%20Table%20Tables%201-4.pdf
  • http://home.howstuffworks.com/pumpkins3.htm
  • http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82


Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or healthcare provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 52 comments

Harsha Vardhana R profile image

Harsha Vardhana R 3 years ago from Bangalore

Useful and wonderful info! Anti-microbial properties are fairly unknown to many.

Thanks, Rajan!

Up!


Zubair Ahmed profile image

Zubair Ahmed 3 years ago

Hi Rajan,

Another one of my favorite, I hear pumpkin seed is very good for men and their manhood amongst some of its health benefits, I wonder how true that is.

Have tried pumpkin and lamb chops made into a curry? Very tasty

Thank you for sharing.


roc6 profile image

roc6 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

Thank You for a wonderful hub, I need to start eating pumpkin seeds again, I love the soup, as a veg as well. I like the sound of pumpkin ravioli.


dhannyya profile image

dhannyya 3 years ago

good article on pumpkin seeds rajanjolly..it is long time since I am coming to hubpages..

my traffic is down by 50% since june...do you experience traffic problem? ....will the traffic come back?...kindly clear my doubt..i have no motivation to write for hubpages now..my vews was 1100...now just 500..what do you say?


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Our Caribbean pumpkins are the best and we've had a great season. Thanks especially for the information on nutrients. Voted Up!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great information about pumpkin. I love eating this and I did not know that it has a lot of health benefits. Thanks for sharing. I see to it now that I eat pumpkin at least once a week. Voted up and shared.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Harsha-thanks.

@Zubair-you are right. Thanks for reading.

@roc-appreciate you sparing time to read and comment.

@dhannya-yes traffic is down since the past few months. I think most people are facing traffic drop. It will take time to come back I feel. Good to see you again.

@MsDora-glad you like the nutritional info. Thanks for stopping by.

@Thelma-actually I too had no idea pumpkin was so healthy but as I researched it was a revelation to me too. Thanks for the votes and sharing.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

They are growing in our garden as I write this. We love pumpkins, and I'm so happy to read about the benefits of it. Thanks as always for the great information.

blessings always

bill


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

I never had this idea that Pumpkins are so much full with health benefits. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome hub. Very useful and informative as always. Sharing across and votes up useful.

deergha


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a fantastic hub all about the uses of pumpkin and the health benefits. I am going to add a link from this to my hub titled Delicious Pumpkin Walnut Bread Recipe ~ Not Just for the Holidays! It will make a nice addition as to the value of incorporating more pumpkin into our diets.

Many up votes, sharing and pinning in addition.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

LOVE pumpkin anything! Seeds, pies, muffins - anything! Thanks for letting me know that i'm healthier for it!

Great info, Rajan..

sharing..


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

You don't have to sell me on this one Rajan I love pumpkin seeds and now I am thrilled to see all the benefits. This is another awesome and informative article! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I love pumpkins! I have canned pumpkin puree in my cupboard nearly year-round. In the Autumn I especially like to use them in many meals. The seeds are delicious.

I like the selection of videos you have here. I am going to check them out at some time in the future. I am very interested in the one for Pumpkin Ravioli. If it is simple enough, I think I will try it sometime!

Thank you for providing the nutrition information, as well as the many uses and benefits of this fruit.

Voted up and shared. Have a wonderful day, Rajan!

~ Kathryn


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I always have a bag of these deliteful tasting seeds. Now that I know their nutritional value..wow..a winning combo.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Bill-thanks and it is good to see you.

@Deergha-thanks for the read, sharing and votes.

@Peggy-thanks for adding the link and I'd like to include your recipe hub for pumpkin walnut bread, in this hub. Thanks for the votes and sharing.

@ImKarn-glad to know you like pumpkins in all forms. Appreciate your reading and sharing of this hub. Thanks.

@Rose-thank you and the pumpkin seeds are very healthy as well.

@Kathryn-I'm glad you like the info and the recipes. Thanks for the read, vote and sharing.

@Carol-thanks.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub. Pumpkins are a big deal on this side of the world and people look forward to their harvest every year. Passing this on.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

rajan,

This is an awesome well-researched hub on nutritional and health benefits of pumpkins and their seeds. I have always enjoyed growing pumpkins and eating them in pies and bread. I was glad to read your reference about pumpkin seeds being good for prostate health. I have BPH, and a few years ago I met a doctor in Bangkok who advised eating pumpkin seeds for prostate health. I have been taking them with my oatmeal every morning since hearing this from the doctor. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting. By the way, when are you travelling to China and which cities will you visit?


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Pumpkin is my favorite pie. It's most interesting to now learn how valuable it is as a dietary entrée as well as nutritional supplement. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful source of great health information. Aloha, and have a terrific weekend, my friend!

Aloha!

Joe


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I like both the seeds and the pumpkin the Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seeds - Uses, Nutritional And Health Benefits is useful, informative and interesting facts to know about. Voted up!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

I very much enjoy pumpkin as a starch, a bread and desert and am relieved to know it has all these benefits. Voting this Up and Useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Rasma-Thanks for your input, reading and sharing the hub.

@Paul-Thanks for all the votes and sharing. Have you benefitted by eating pumpkin seeds? I'm leaving for China on the 13th of this month and will be visiting Keqiao, Shaoxing. My daughter lives in Keqiao.

@Joe-Good to know you like pumpkin pie and appreciate the benefits of this healthy vegetable. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend. Aloha!

@Devika-thanks for reading and the vote up.

@Aurelio-thanks for the read and votes.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Pumpkin is my favorite. I learn many things here related with pumpkin. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Good job, brother. Voted up :-)

Prasetio


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for the visit and comments, Prasetio. I appreciate the vote as well.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Never realized how nutritious pumpkin seeds were. Thanks for the information.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for visiting, tirelesstraveller


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Love pumpkins and our grop this year seems to be doing real well. Great hub and Voted up and Shared.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love pumpkin and your hub gives such inclusive information. I always learn from you my friend. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will pin and share. Thank you. ~ Blessings ~ Audrey


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

Rajan....Your hubs are full of a wealth of information, and I appreciate all the effort you put into researching healthy foods and writing about them.

I love pumpkin-walnut bread made from organic pumpkin. I also include organic pumpkin in my dog's homemade food, so there's a lot of pumpkin eaten around this house.

Voted Up++

Jaye


vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

I love pumpkin seeds... maybe more than the watermelon seeds but they're both good! I love to nibble them. Thanks for posting their amazing health benefits Rajan! :)


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Very informative and useful hub!

We all are aware of the goodness of Pumpkin for all age groups. But thanks for describing the detailed benefits of Pumpkin.

Very nice and well done. Thanks for another wonderful hub!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@moonlake-good to know you have pumpkin crop that is doing quite well. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments and the sharing as well.

@Audrey-feels good to know the info is liked. Thanks for all the votes and sharing. Have a great day!

@Jaye-it's good to know you eat a lot of this healthy vegetable. Thanks for stopping by.

@vibesites-thank you so much. I have never tried watermelon seeds though.

@Chitrangada-thanks for reading and commenting. Your visit is much appreciated.


Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

Rajan I knew pumpkin is very good for health but never did I know it was so healthy. I like pathe ki sabji with puris and it is one of the regularly made in our home in season. Very well written Hub. Voting it up, awesome and sharing.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Indian Chef. Appreciate the sharing and votes.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Of course I was drooling by the time I was finished reading this, rajan jolly. Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods and I usually ignore it totally until fall. Silly me. I need to enjoy it more often especially now that I see all of the ways it will help me healthwise.

Thanks for sharing. Angels are on the way ps


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Patricia, glad you realize the enormous health benefits of this mild vegetable. Thanks for stopping by.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Had no idea pumpkin was so beneficial in the diet. The pumpkin ravioli looks great, however no one makes a better pumpkin pie than me, and Peggy W's pumpkin bread is superb. Voted up, useful, interesting, and will share.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for giving this hub a read, votes up and sharing. Glad you like the pumpkin ravioli recipe as well.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Pumpkin vegetable is must in the feasts during the Hindu rituals in our society. I like this vegetable. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully researched article.


GwennyOh profile image

GwennyOh 3 years ago from LaLa Land

Well done Rajan. I am pleased to know that the pumpkin is as nutritious as it is delicious. Thanks so much for this wealth of information. Appreciated.

Voted up. Pinned on Pinterest.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Every fall we have loads of pumpkin seeds and we roast them with various spices and salt. They are the best snack and healthy too! Thanks for this reminder.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great information on health benefits and nutrition of pumpkin seeds. Great recipe videos. Voted up.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks,

Vinaya, Gwenny, GTF and Nithya. I appreciate the sharing, Gwenny.


womensrights profile image

womensrights 3 years ago

I personally hate pumpkins but i try to incorporate them in other foods like mix them in chapati while kneading or eat them with a mix of meat and potatoes.As for the seeds most people here take them to a mill and mix the pumpkin seed flour with maize or wheat flour.Great info


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

Excellent, as usual. That Gordon Ramsay is a treat to watch. My pumpkins are ripe now, so I think I'll make some Pumpkin Risotto - Ramsay style.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Womensrights-as long as you eat pumpkins anyway it is going to benefit your health so keep using them in a mix of anything you fancy. Thanks for stopping by. Your comment went into the spam folder and hence the late reply.

Marlene-Glad you liked Ramsay's video. He's quite an entertainer as well! And the risotto looks awesome. Thanks for reading.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

We love pumpkin and now I realize how good they are for us! Here in Peru, pumpkin is one of the main staples of the diet. They're often included in soups and there's a very common dish called "locro de zapallo" that includes pumpkin as the main star and includes cubes of fresh cheese, fava beans and local herbs. yum! Now I'll appreciate the health benefits of pumpkin more. Thank you!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for this information and glad to know you appreciate the info. Thank you for visiting.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Timely hub as we head into my favorite time of year! It is great to know that pumpkin is so nutritious, as I like to bake with pumpkin -- pies, muffins, and breads. Glad to see you included PeggyW's recipe. She is a great cook, and I have tried many of her recipes and enjoyed them.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for stopping by, FlourishAnyway.


precy anza profile image

precy anza 2 years ago from San Diego

Such good information you have here Rajan. :) I didn't know pumpkin is used to flavor beverages, didn't know that before. I love pumpkin pies :) Up and shared!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for stopping by, precy and for the sharing.


Cdr. B S SOOD ( Retd. ) 2 years ago

Sir,

One of my friend is suffering from low homoglowin, It has been diognised that he is low on Bone Marrow which is not producing blood . result is lot of weakness . he is ABOUT 68 YRS OLD . I advised him to take Pumpkin shake early inthe Morning on empty stomach . and eat only after about 15/20 min. He says it is help ful and he feels better. for how long he should keep on taking pumpkin shake. I hope there is no long term harms. pl reply me on my E-mail -: bssood@hotmail.com. Thx & regards

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