Pumpkin is one of the nutritious meals you should try out. It also contains low amounts of calories. Additionally, pumpkin can be cooked on both sweet and savory dishes. We are going to find out the nutrition components and benefits of pumpkin. Pumpkins fall under the same category as melons and cucumbers. It is considered a fruit because of its seeds. However, its nutrient composition makes it be compared to vegetables. Pumpkins are orange in color and round. The color, shape and size of pumpkins vary. Additionally, the outer rind of pumpkin is smooth.
They are prepared differently across the globe. The flesh, leaves and seeds of pumpkin are edible. This is the reason it can easily be adopted in numerous meals.
The different types of Pumpkin
Pumpkin can grow anywhere in the world apart from Antarctica. This is the reason there are different types of pumpkin. The different varieties of pumpkin include:
- Pie pumpkins- They have a very sweet taste.
- White- A section of this pumpkin is good for carving and others are best cooked.
- Miniature- You have an option of eating them, or for decorative purpose.
- Jack-o-lantern- This type of pumpkin is large in size. It best suits carving.
- Giant- They are less flavorful when compared to other varieties.
Pumpkin comes in two ways. It can be either raw or packaged in cans.
The nutrition levels of Pumpkin
As stated earlier, pumpkin is one of the nutritious meals. This meal has almost everything. They range from minerals and vitamins. Here are some of these nutrients and their benefits:
- Carbs- Carbs are the main source of energy. It fuels the body to efficiently perform different tasks.
- Fiber-Fiber improves bowel health. It also helps control blood sugar levels.
- Protein- Protein helps repair and build muscles
- Vitamin K- It helps in blood clotting and in the wellbeing of the bones.
- Vitamin C- This vitamin aids in the formation of collagen and in repairing of damaged cells.
Copper, Iron, potassium, folate, riboflavin, manganese, Vitamin E and thiamin are other nutrients found in pumpkin. Pumpkin also contains high amounts of Beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a very powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant turns in vitamin A when absorbed in the body.
The health benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is linked to plenty of health benefits. All this comes from the nutrients. This fruit also contains high amounts of fiber. Here are the health benefits linked to pumpkin:
It boosts immunity
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in pumpkin. This antioxidant helps fight different infections in the body. Beta-carotene is first converted in Vitamin A. Vitamin A particularly protects the intestinal lining from different kinds of infections.
It boost eye health
Beta-carotene antioxidant is also linked to enhancing the eye performance. This antioxidant gives you a sharp vision. It also protects you from age related complications. Your retina will also be capable of absorbing more light.
You will attain a healthy skin
The combination of Vitamin E, Vitamin C and beta-carotene can help improve the wellness of your skin. Your skin will be protected from the harmful UV rays. The texture and the general appearance of your skin will also improve.
The heart health
The wellness of the heart depends on what you eat. Medical experts encourage people to take vegetables and fruits to improve the wellness of their heart. Potassium, vitamin C and fiber found in pumpkin improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
People who frequently eat pumpkin have a low probability of contracting metabolic syndrome. This is thanks to the beta-carotene. Metabolic syndrome is linked to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and high blood sugar levels.
How to eat Pumpkin
Pumpkin can be included in different kinds of meals. These meals include muffins, custards and pancakes. It can also be used in savory dishes. Pumpkin can also be found in canned form. It can be combined with spices and coconut milk to make a delicious curry. You can also eat almost every part of the pumpkin. First, seeds can be roasted and consumed as crunchy snacks. It’s flowers can be fried after being battered.
Things to watch out for
Pumpkin is recommended for everyone because of its health benefits. However, there are instances when you should completely avoid pumpkin. There are some prescribed medications that don’t blend with pumpkin. Lithium is one of the medications that can bring severe side effects when combined with pumpkin. Pumpkin slows down the process which the body clears lithium in the system.
Secondly, there are a couple of pumpkin flavored junk meals. Junk meals are not healthy because of the additives. Please note that not all meals labeled pumpkin are healthy. Avoid pumpkin junk meals because they are not linked to any health benefits.
There is no doubt that pumpkin is very healthy. It contains a lot of nutrients that are beneficial for the body in numerous ways. Eat pumpkin as a vegetable for maximum benefits.