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Mom, what is in lunch today? Kaddu (Pumpkin).
Relatable. Right? After hearing Kaddu, usually, we all make faces.
But after knowing the pumpkin benefits, you will fall in love with this super healthy superfood. Pumpkin is not only a highly nutrient-dense food but low in calories, and rich in vitamins and minerals. What could be more interesting about a vegetable, when it’s having magical seeds inside it.
This article is all about pumpkin benefits, types of pumpkin, its nutritional values, yummy recipes, benefits of pumpkin seeds, and many more. Let’s have a look.
What Is Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a plump, nutritious orange fruit. This might surprise you, pumpkin is not a vegetable but a fruit. Yes, it is because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants and anything that starts from a flower is botanically a fruit.
So, a pumpkin is a cultivar of winter squash that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and is most often deep yellow to orange in coloration. Its thick shell contains the seeds and pulp that too have benefits, which we will read in the below article.
Nutritional Value Of Pumpkin 100g
- Vitamin C-9mg
Pumpkin has a range of fantastic benefits, amongst which below are the most essential ones.
1. Highly Nutritious And Particularly Rich In Vitamin A
- Pumpkin has an impressive nutrient profile, as one cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains 245%of vitamin A.
- Also, it is packed with vitamins, and minerals and is 94% water which is why it is low in calories.
- Moreover, it is also very high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your body turns into vitamin A.
2. Pumpkin Benefits Chronic Diseases
- So, free radicals are molecules produced by your body’s metabolic process. Besides, being highly unstable, they have useful roles, such as they destroy harmful bacteria.
- However, excessive free radicals in your body create a state called oxidative stress. This is linked to chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
- Moreover, pumpkins also contain antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells.
3. Packs Vitamins That May Boost Immunity
- Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that boost your immune system. It’s high in beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A.
- According to the studies, vitamin A strengthens your immune system and helps fight infections. Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which further increases white blood cell production. This helps immune cells work more effectively and makes wounds heal faster.
- Besides, being rich in Vitamins a and C, it is also rich in vitamins, iron and folate.
4. Incredibly Versatile and Easy to Add to Your Diet
- Pumpkin is, however, delicious, versatile and easy to add to your diet. It is sweet in flavour which makes it a popular ingredient in dishes like custards, pies and pancakes.
- Also, it works just as well in savoury dishes such as roasted vegetables, soups and kinds of pasta.
- The seeds are also edible and packed with nutrients, that offer many other benefits like it improves bladder and heart health.
- Moreover, pumpkin is also available pre-cut or canned, giving you flexibility with your recipes and preparation.
5. Antioxidant Content May Lower Your Risk of Cancer
- Pumpkin is high in carotenoids, which are compounds that function as antioxidants. Allowing free radicals to neutralize and protect against certain cancers.
- In fact, according to an analysis of studies, people with higher intakes of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene have significantly lower risks of stomach cancers.
- Similarly, individuals with higher intakes of carotenoids have lower risks of throat, pancreas, breast and other cancers.
6. Pumpkin Benefits Heart Health
- Pumpkin is high in potassium, vitamin C and fibre, which are all beneficial for the heart.
- According, to the studies people with a high intake of potassium, appear to have lower blood pressure. Also, reduced risk of strokes, two risk factors for heart disease.
- Also, Pumpkin is rich high in antioxidants, it protects bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
7. Pumpkin Benefits For Skin
- Pumpkins have carotenoids like beta-carotene that act as a natural sunblock and help protect skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays.
- Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen which is a protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy.
- Moreover, pumpkins contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and many more antioxidants that boost your skin’s defenses against UV rays and keep it healthy and glowing.
8. Pumpkin Benefits Your Eyesight
- The beta-carotene content in pumpkin provides your body with vitamin A which is necessary for good eyesight. People with higher intakes of beta-carotene had a significantly lower risk of cataracts.
- Also, pumpkin is one of the best sources of compounds lutein and zeaxanthin that are linked to lower risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
- Moreover, it contains good amounts of vitamins C and E, which function as antioxidants and prevents free radicals from damaging your eye cells.
9. Pumpkin Benefits For Weight Loss
Pumpkin is considered a nutrient-dense food as it’s incredibly low in calories despite being packed with nutrients. This fruit clocks in at under 50 calories per cup (245 grams) and consists of water of about 94%. Therefore, pumpkin is a weight-loss-friendly food because you can consume more of it than other carb sources. Following are the benefits of pumpkin particularly for weight loss.
1. Low In Calories
- A 100-gm of raw pumpkin contains just 26 calories, as per USDA data.
- So, you can pack in a whole lot of nutrition in a relatively low number of calories. Of course, depending on your mode of cooking and add to your weight loss diet plan.
2. High In Fibre
- As per the USDA, a 100-gm of pumpkin contains just 0.5 gm fibre. This means every cup of pumpkin contains about 3 gm of fibre, with just about 49 calories.
- Fibre is, however, important for digestive health, which is not only key for weight loss but also curbs hunger pangs.
3. Great Post-Workout Food
- The presence of 100-gm pumpkin contains 340 mg of potassium makes it a great post-workout.
- It helps in the recovery of the muscles, helping you lose extra weight.
4. Boosts Mood And Fights Stress
- Pumpkin contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is considered a natural mood booster, that also fights stress.
- Hence, an upbeat mood is essential to help you stay on the course of your weight loss and fitness regimen.
5. Boosts Immunity
- The presence of essential vitamin C in pumpkin and beta carotene makes it an immunity booster.
- Therefore, having a good and healthy immune system is important for quick and healthy weight loss.
Not only the pumpkin but its seeds are also, a potent source of many nutrients. They offer high levels of essential vitamins and minerals in a small serving.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
Here are the benefits of pumpkin seeds:
1. Full Of Valuable Nutrients
- Pumpkin seed is a Mexican Spanish term and is also known as pepita. These shell-free seeds are green, flat, oval and one ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds has roughly 151 calories, mainly from fat and protein.
- Moreover, they are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients.
- They also contain a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate.
2. High In Antioxidants
- Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E that reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. That’s why the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants can help protect against many diseases.
- Therefore, high levels of antioxidants in pumpkins seeds are partly responsible for their positive effects on health.
3. Linked To A Reduced Risk Of Certain Cancers
- Diets that are rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers.
- Also, the lignans in pumpkin seeds play a key role in preventing and treating breast cancer.
- Further, any supplement containing pumpkin seeds has the potential to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
4. Pumpkin Seeds Improve Prostate And Bladder Health
- Pumpkin seeds help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, causing problems with urination.
- According, to the research, taking pumpkin seeds or their products as supplements can help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.
5. Very High In Magnesium
- Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium, which is often lacking in the diets of many Western populations.
Magnesium is, however, needed for more than 600 chemical reactions in your body. For example, adequate levels of magnesium are important for:
- Controlling blood pressure
- Reducing heart disease risk
- Forming and maintaining healthy bones
- Regulating blood sugar levels
6. Pumpkin Seeds Benefits Heart Health
- Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids all of which help keep the heart-healthy.
- Moreover, according to the study, pumpkin seed oil supplements reduce diastolic blood pressure by 7%. While increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels by 16%.
- Also, the pumpkin seeds have nitric oxide that helps expand blood vessels, improves blood flow and reduces the risk of plaque growth in your arteries.
7. Pumpkin Seeds Benefits Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder and pumpkin juice help reduce blood sugar. Its is highly recommendable for diabetic patients who may struggle to control their blood sugar levels.
- Moreover, the high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its positive effect on diabetes.
8. High In Fiber
- Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fibre and promote good digestive health.
- Also, high-fibre diets have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
9. Pumpkin seeds Benefits Improve Sperm Quality
- While low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in men. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, that may improve sperm quality.
- Also, as pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants and other nutrients they contribute to healthy testosterone levels and improve overall health.
- Together, all these factors benefit fertility levels and reproductive function, especially in men.
10. May Help Improve Sleep
- If you have trouble sleeping, then eating pumpkin before bed, will help you sleep better. Because they are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.
- You should consume around 1 gram of tryptophan daily to improve sleep. You need to eat around 7 ounces (200 grams) of pumpkin seeds to achieve the needed amount of tryptophan.
- The zinc in these seeds also helps convert tryptophan to serotonin, which changes into melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
- In addition, pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and adequate magnesium levels also help with better sleep.
Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds
Although pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients, but they also have some side effects if not taken in a limited manner.
- Consumption of pumpkin seeds in huge quantities can cause stomach aches. These seeds are a rich source of fatty oils, which on ingestion beyond acceptable levels, could cause stomach upset, cramps and pain.
- Well, crisply cooked pumpkin seeds are devoid of water-soluble nutrients such as vitamin B6, thiamin, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C. So, if you are cooking these seeds, then keep the heat to the lowest possible level. As you might lose various nutrients if you do not consume these seeds proper way.
- However, pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber and fatty acids, which are not recommended for infants as they could trigger stomach cramps, pain, vomiting, and even diarrhoea.
- As pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants by nature they enable low blood pressure levels. Hence, if you are suffering from hypotension or you are hypertensive on anti-hypertensive medications, then you should consult with the doctor.
- Certain allergic reactions could be triggered by using pumpkin seeds, with the skin being the primary target. These allergies could be itching, throat irritation, coughing, obstructed breathing, headache, nasal congestion, sneezing, etc.
- Pumpkin seeds might lower the glucose level in the blood, thus preventing the unwanted escalation. So, if you are on anti-diabetic medications or if you are hypoglycemic, then it would be advisable to consult with a doctor if you can include pumpkin seeds in your diet.
Though it is very rare that white pumpkin is seen in India, but is quite popular in England. It is the gourd-like squash that belongs to the genus Cucurbita and the family cucurbitae. However, due to its white skin, it is considered great for carving as well as painting. White pumpkin has many health benefits as mentioned below.
Check out some impressive nutrition and health benefits of white pumpkin
White Pumpkin Benefits
1. Lowers Cholesterol
- White pumpkin contains high amounts of phytosterols. It helps replace and normalize cholesterol to a healthy level. Thus, protecting against certain cancers.
2. Gives You Glowing Skin
- White pumpkin has a high content of anti-oxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, E, and also zinc which is great for your skin.
- They protect your skin against damage, have anti-ageing benefits, are anti-acne and are best for oily skin.
3. Benefits Eye Health
- Pumpkins have abundant amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are vital for protecting the eyes.
- It protect the eyes against free radical damage and prevents the formation of cataracts, macular degeneration and astigmatism.
- Moreover, it has vitamin A which helps protect eye health.
4. Good for Asthmatic Patients
- White pumpkin has anti-oxidants that protect the respiratory system against infections.
- Also, free radical attacks and reduce and heal asthma attacks.
5. Cure Peptic Ulcers
- However, white pumpkin contains medicinal properties that help in soothing the gastrointestinal tract.
- This property also helps heal digestive conditions and peptic ulcers.
6. Act as a mood changer
- White pumpkin is rich in L-tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid. It helps alleviate a depressed mood, providing a feeling of happiness and well-being.
7. Best For Immune System
- The juice of white pumpkin do wonders in boosting the immune system by increasing the production.
- Also, improves the performance of white blood cells.
8. Promotes Hair Growth
- White pumpkin contains several nutrients and vitamin A. These are extremely beneficial for your hair as it promotes hair growth.
- The following property is thus, best suitable for dry or damaged hair.
Pumpkin Recipes For Weight Loss
Try the following recipes of pumpkin by Fitelo, for weight loss.
Pumpkin Aloo Tikki
Who Shouldn’t Eat Pumpkin?
- Pumpkin is very healthy as it contains several nutrients and is considered safe for most. However, some people may experience allergies after eating pumpkins.
- It is mildly diuretic, which means eating a lot of pumpkins may induce a “water pill”-like reaction. Further, it can increase the amount of water and salt that your body expels through urine. This effect further, may harm people taking certain medicines such as lithium.
- Therefore, diuretics can impair your body’s ability to remove lithium, causing serious side effects.
- Although, side effects from pumpkin products are rare, but might include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea.
- It might also cause itching, rash and allergic reactions in some people.
A pumpkin seed, in North America, is also known as a pepita. It is the edible seed of a pumpkin or certain other cultivars of squash and is typically flat and asymmetrically oval. They have a white outer husk, and is light green after the husk is removed. They are tasty and have several benefits as below.
What Are The Side Effects Of Pumpkin?
Well, you must be surprised that there are no side effects of eating pumpkin. Pumpkin is very nutrient-dense, versatile, and pretty welcoming to all diets.
What Is The Difference Between White seeds And Green seeds Of Pumpkin?
In the store, you usually see pumpkin seeds are green because they don’t have shells. Whereas, in the fresh pumpkin, you’ll find white seeds because they still have the outer shells. The shell has been removed from those in the store, so you have the seed itself. Therefore, the green colour is here because of protochlorophyllide pigment.
Is Pumpkin Good For Belly Fat?
Well, white pumpkin and apple juice help you lose weight and cut belly fat naturally. Nutritionally, pumpkins are very rich and are devoid of cholesterol, sodium and fats. This is what makes pumpkins ideal for including in your weight loss diets.
Can Pumpkin Be Eaten Every day?
Pumpkin is, however, rich in potassium, fibre, and vitamin C which helps you keep your blood pressure low. So, yes eating pumpkin every day is a great way to promote good gut health and a strong heart.
What Is The Best Time To Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
For average people, the best time to eat them is either in the morning or as a snack in between meals. While people with sleep issues can eat them right before bedtime or after dinner.
Who Should Not Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
People who have a weak stomach, or women who are pregnant or during breastfeeding, should avoid eating pumpkin seeds.
Can Pumpkin Seeds gain weight?
Yes, eating pumpkin seeds in excess will lead to a gain in weight as it is loaded with calories. Also, excess consumption can cause stomach aches, flatulence, bloating and constipation.
How To Make White Pumpkin Juice?
Ingredients: 2 cups white pumpkin, Salt, Lemon juice.
- First, take the blender, and blend 2 cups of chopped pumpkin finely.
- Squeeze the juice to separate the water content.
- Add salt and lemon to taste.
- Serve cold.
How To Make Pumpkin And Apple Juice?
Ingredients: 1/2 pumpkin, 1 apple
- First, chop the half pumpkin into pieces, remove its peel and wrap them in an aluminium foil, placing them in a baking utensil.
- Then put that utensil in a microwave at 190 degrees Celsius for about 70 minutes. Take it out and allow it to cool.
- Remove the foil and squeeze the juice of the pumpkin as it would be soft and juicy. Store the juice in a bowl.
- Take a blender and grind a fresh apple. Filter the juice from the pulp and store it in a bowl.
- Mix the two juices and leave them aside for 15 minutes. Drink every morning on an empty stomach or with breakfast for best results.
Yummy Recipes From Our Kitchen
Biryani lovers! What is this? You have stopped eating biryani, just because you don’t want to put on weight? Don’t worry, be ready and try Fitelo’s ‘Pumpkin Biryani’. Reduce kilos without compromising with taste. Don’t forget to share this secret with others.
Contact Us Today
Your search for a weight loss consultant ends here. So, Contact us today if you are looking for a Diet Plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you in achieving your weight loss goals.
Surely, after reading the above article about pumpkins, you must have started liking it. Kaddu is not as bad as it looks. It has a lot of benefits and is rich in Vitamin C which is beneficial for your hair and heart as well. It has Vitamin A which is good for your eyes too. Fitelo, also provides you with yummy pumpkin weight loss recipes recommended by the best dietitians.