Pumpkin Nutrition And Health Benefits

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About Pumpkins


One of the healthiest foods consumed by us, the pumpkin has many nutritional benefits. The health benefits of eating it can never be outweighed by anything. The pumpkin is diverse and super-food, which is used worldwide in many cuisines in unique and delicious ways. This fruit, fruit which is widely thought of and used like a vegetable, is a member of the gourd or cucurbit family. The family of foods in this category consists of the cucumber, melon, cantaloupe, squash, loofahs and of course the infamous pumpkin.

The pumpkin was first grown by Native Americans along with beans and corns. The three of them were known as the three sisters as they were cultivated in the same field and harvested around the same time. The Native Americans realized the goodness of eating this fruit and utilized it well, even using the flower and buds in stews and the seeds as medicine. They made good use of it in different ways by drying and pounding to make flour. For the winter months they dehydrated or roasted it, this way it lasted much longer so they could enjoy eating pumpkin throughout the season.


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Nutritional benefits of Pumpkin

Having a healthy dose of pumpkin in the diet regularly may aid in the fight against diseases and sickness.

Pumpkin has many nutritional benefits and is delicious and easy to prepare. Its sweet flavor enhances any meal and can be included in your entrée, appetizer, dessert or even made into snacks. The skin of the pumpkin also has its share of health benefits so don't leave it out of your diet.

  • Vitamin A: One of the benefits of eating pumpkin is to obtain this nutrient better known as Beta Carotene, better known for its powerful combination of Carotenoids. The Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin work together in synergy to produce vitamin A which promotes healthy eyesight and prevents bacterial infections in the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tract. Carotenoids are contained in bright colored foods and is known as provitamin A carotenoid which is made into retinol in the body. Beta-carotene is the provitamin A that is most efficiently made into retinol. Vitamin A helps the body's ability to fight infection and a deficiency can be very fatal especially in children who have been known to die from infectious diseases as a result of this vitamin deficiency.

  • Vitamin E:Another nutritional benefit of pumpkin is the presence Vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that acts as an antioxidant to helps fight free radicals. Our bodies converts food into energy and when it does compounds known as free radicals are formed. These are also found in our surroundings such as in UVA/UVB rays and the air. Free radicals are cancer causing agents and we need vitamin E to help fight them. Vitamin E is a powerful immune system booster that also fights bacteria and viruses. It also expands our blood vessels to reduce the risk of blood clots.

  • Potassium: Yet another health benefit of eating pumpkin is having this mineral in the diet to help reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. Also known to increase muscular strength, this mineral aids in the relief of stress, irritability and anxiety. The third most plentiful mineral found in the body, it's many health benefits include keeping the water balance in our cells which also helps to lower high blood pressure and protect us against the effects of sodium on blood pressure.

  • Magnesium: Needed for quite a number biochemical reactions in the body it is the fourth most ample mineral in the body. It aids in the regulation of normal muscle and nerve function. Other nutritional benefits of magnesium in pumpkin includes supporting a healthy immune system, keeping the rhythm of the heart steady, keeping the bones strong, the regulating of the blood sugar levels and assisting the balancing of blood pressure.

  • Vitamin C: Did you know that the all star vitamin C is also found in pumpkins? A very powerful antioxidant, it is said to boost our immune system and fight free radicals. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen which is needed to help heal damaged tissue. It is said to be the cancer fighting vitamin as people who have a diet rich in vitamin C does better staving off the disease. Can you believe that pumpkin contains this valuable nutrient?

  • Dietary Fiber, another really important nutritional benefit in eating pumpkin. Dietary fiber is known as roughage and cannot be digested. The nutrient prevents constipation through elimination. There are two types of dietary fiber; soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is able to dissolve in water to form a gel like substance which assist in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved and moves through the digestive tract cleansing along the way and keeping the bowels free. Pumpkin contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Trace minerals and vitamins in pumpkin includes iron, protein, calcium, zinc, selenium, carbohydrates, niacin and folate. All of these nutrients are important for healthy bodily functions. There are so many reasons why pumpkin should be included in your diet because the health benefits are enormous. Pumpkin provides many nutritional benefits that can help prevent diseases and keep you healthy. If you have never eaten this fruit before, give it a try, you will not regret the taste. So many uses, this healthy food must never be left off the shopping list.



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Healthy Pumpkin Recipe


Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

2 cups diced uncooked pumkin

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/4 cup cooked chickpea

4-5 cups water

1/4 cup coconut cream

1 small brown onion finely minced

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves galic finely minced


In a saucepan sauté onion and garlic for three minutes on medium low. Add pumpkin, chickpea, carrots and thyme, sauté another three minutes then reduce flames to low and cover pan. Let steam for five minute (make sure it isn't burning). Add water and increase flames to high and bring to a boil. Reduce flames again to medium low and simmer until pumpkin and carrots are soft.

Uncover for five minutes then purée soup in blender. Return to sauce pan on very low flames and add coconut cream. Salt to taste. Do not boil, just heat through thoroughly. Serve with cracked black pepper.


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Comments 30 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I love pumpkin pie year round. It's great to hear how healthy it is.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Pumpkin is considered a super food! I love pumpkin too.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I've tried to come and read this hub a few times now and my guess is that you unpublished it. Glad to see it's now published. I love pumpkin too and just had a thought of maybe trying it as a juice. Not sure how that would taste though. Pumpkin smoothie?


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Sorry about that Susan. Hit the publish button by mistake...would have been a reading disaster then...lol

Pumpkin punch/drink taste great. Steam the pumpkin in a vege steamer. Let cool, then puree with milk, vanilla extract and honey or sugar. Serve chilled or over ice with a dash of nutmeg. You can blend the ice in when you blend and add some rum.

For the smoothie just sub the fruits for the pumpkin, add you yogurt and milk with some honey and blend with ice cubes.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks, I figured you'd know how to make a drink out of the pumpkin.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Had to do a project for a client a few weeks ago included everything pumpkin for Halloween.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

I grow pumpkin in my garden, I love to eat them when green, I enjoy eating pumpkin when they are ripe.By the way in my culture no ceremonies are thought to be complete without cooking pumpkin.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I buy dried pumpkin seeds in a bag, they are really good, of course i love pumpkin pies. My Sister Mary makes the best pumpkin pies i have ever tasted..Didn't know pumpkin was that good for you. Thank's for the info.


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing so much health benefits of eating pumpkin Cardisa,I love eating pumpkin but depends on how it cooks, but got to learn not to be so picky as it really gives us so much benefits...appreciate much for the good job done, be blessed...with love...


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Vinaya, you must be one healthy man!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Ruby, pumpkin on a regular basis will provide a lot of nutrients that we need and may eliminate having to take supplements.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Injured Lamb, thank you. I would suggest having the pumpkin the way you like it and that's a good start.


swathi180 profile image

swathi180 5 years ago

Great to hear so many nutritional values of pumpkin.I will try the pumpkin smoothie hope I will like it.Thanks for sharing Cardisa.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Swathi180, I can almost guarantee you will like it so long s you cook the pumpkin first. Pumpkin has a sweet flavor and added to any dish it will surely taste great.


Chasing Riley profile image

Chasing Riley 5 years ago from Los Angeles

I'm buying pumpkin too. You have such great, healthy hubs. Does it matter if you use canned pumpkin?


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

You can use canned pumpkin but beware of sodium levels.


LindaSmith1 profile image

LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

But don't you have to strain pumpkin, a very tedious job?


mikeq107 5 years ago

Cardisa :0) your on a role today! the mighty pumpkin seed...well your just confirming this crazy diet Cynthia has me on is spot on!!!

Voted up and shared all hubs with followers!!!

Mike :0)


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

No Linda, pumpkin is very easy to prepare. Steaming or boiling takes about 20 minutes then you can puree in blender. In Jamaica we eat pumpkin as a part of our vege option once it is boiled or steamed. We don't puree it here. It has a sweet flavor and goes with almost any meal.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Wifey is on the right path Mike. The pumpkin seeds are great for your health too so don't leave them out. Thanks for sharing.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

Its been a long time since I cooked pumpkin but I'll even take the canned to try this recipe. Voted up!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Frogyfish, you can definitely try the punch and the smoothie, I guarantee you will love them.


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

Pumpkin got a widespread use in many cuisines, medicine , seeds oil and a perfect food. Pumpkin have lot of medicinal properties also like as used as a DE-worming agent, in depression, for kidney stones, against parasites and lot more.. thanks for sharing this useful hub. Reading this article may be we can say that everyday use of pumpkin will keep the diseases away and make us healthy.

vote up and useful.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Dinkan53, thanks for your comment. Pumpkin has so many health benefits, it's like medicine. A dose of pumpkin a day will definitely keep diseases away.

Thanks for stopping by.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Thanks for the education on pumpkins. You made it very interesting and your recipe is very healthy. Most of us do not think of serving pumpkin except as the main ingredient in a Thanksgiving pie. Great presentation and information.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Teaches, thank you! I totally forgot that I posted that recipe...lol. Thanks for reminding me. The flame you speak of is actually clip art ribbons from MS publisher.


Wied profile image

Wied 4 years ago from Indonesia

Thanks for the soup recipes. I will definitely try it. Thanks...


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

You are welcome Wied.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

What a good soup recipe, what a great Hub and thanks for the info on pumpkins.

We enjoy a pumpkin risotto when they around in the markets. Had no idea it also contained niacin. So few foods do.

Voting up and thanks! Look forward to reading more of your varied Hubs over the next few months.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hello GoodLady, thank you for stopping by and reading, I really appreciate it. I had to research a project for a client and was shocked about the nutrients found in this food. I am a pumpkin lover so it was a pleasant surprise.

Have a great day.

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