Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch. There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.
Pumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. It also gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.
Many studies have suggested that eating more plant foods such as pumpkin decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality. It can also help prevent diabetes and heart disease, and promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and a healthful body mass index (BMI).
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart – The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health. Studies suggest that consuming enough potassium may be almost as important as decreasing sodium intake for the treatment of hypertension, or high blood pressure. Decreasing sodium intake involves eating meals that contain little or no salt. Increased potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, and preservation of bone mineral density.
Reducing the risk of cancer – Research has suggested a positive relationship between a diet rich in beta-carotene and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Beta-carotene has also been shown to hold back the development of colon cancer in some of the Japanese population. Pumpkins contain a wealth of antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.
Pumpkin helps to control diabetes – The plant compounds in pumpkin seeds and pulp are excellent for helping the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines, as well as balancing levels of liver glucose. They may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but this effect is not consistently demonstrated. However, the compounds have such an impact that researchers suggest that they could be reworked into an anti-diabetic medication, though further studies are needed.
Daily fiber content – Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fiber. People in the United States (U.S.) do not consume enough fiber, with an average daily intake of just 15 g. The recommended daily fiber intake of is between 25 and 30 g. Fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption into the blood, as well as promoting regular bowel movements and smooth digestion. A healthful fiber intake can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.