Pumpkins are a low-cost vegetable and are used in a wide variety of cooking and baking, as well as for decorating. But their nutritional value and health benefits are often overlooked.
Pumpkins contain an abundance of nutrients such as protein, beta carotene, several B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus, which are beneficial to human health and well-being.
Pumpkins help improve vision
Pumpkins, similar to carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. Our bodies turn this antioxidant into vitamin A, which preserves eyesight and improves night vision. A glass of freshly squeezed pumpkin juice provides more than twice the recommended daily dose of vitamin A.
In addition to beta carotene, pumpkins are packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and folic acid, all of which boost the immune system. Consuming pumpkin in moderation increases the resistance of the immune cells to bacteria and accelerates the healing of wounds.
Lower blood pressure
Pumpkins are a good source of potassium, an essential nutrient for lowering blood pressure. Unsalted pumpkin seeds are rich in minerals and plant sterols that can increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
The potassium found in pumpkins has other benefits for the body as well. Studies have found that by increasing potassium intake, a person reduces the risk of stroke, kidney stones, and type-2 diabetes. Potassium is also beneficial for increasing the density of bones and promoting the health of bones.
Promote weight loss
Pumpkins are high in fiber and low in calories. Eating pumpkin curbs the appetite and in turn, reduces your food intake. If you are thinking of losing weight, the nutritious pumpkin is a great choice. At the same time, its high fiber content promotes digestive health and prevents constipation.
Enhance the quality of sleep
In some cultures, pumpkin seeds are great snacks. Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid for making a chemical called serotonin that impacts the regulation of mood and enhances the quality of sleep.
Fight skin aging
The antioxidant capacity of beta carotene protects the skin from sun damage and fights skin aging. It also reduces inflammation.
Reduce the risk of cancer
Vitamin A in pumpkins reduces the risk of certain cancers, such as lung cancer. Studies have shown that there is a benefit from eating food that contains vitamin A.
Translated by Chua BC and edited by Angela