Foods & Drinks

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

a bunch of pumpkins in a

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash, belonging to the Gourd family. It is native to North America and is especially popular around Thanksgiving and Halloween. In the US, pumpkin is commonly known as Cucurbita pepo, an orange winter squash. In other regions, such as Australia, pumpkin may be called any winter squash. Although often thought of as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. That said, it’s more of a vegetable than a fruit in terms of nutrition. In addition to delicious taste, pumpkin is very nutritious and has many health benefits. Here are the impressive health benefits of pumpkin.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Nutritious and especially rich in vitamin A

Health Benefits of Pumpkin | Nutritious and especially rich in vitamin A

Pumpkin has an impressive nutrient profile.

One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains:
Calories: 49
Fat: 0.2 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% RDI
Copper: 11% RDI
Manganese: 11% RDI
Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
Iron: 8% RDI
Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and some B vitamins.
Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is also relatively low in calories, as it is 94% water.

It is also rich in beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A.

Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are edible, nutritious and have many health benefits.

High levels of antioxidants may reduce the risk of chronic diseases

Free radicals are molecules produced by your body’s metabolism. Although very unstable, they have useful roles, such as killing harmful bacteria.

However, excessive free radicals in the body create a state called oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Pumpkin contains antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These substances can neutralize free radicals, preventing them from damaging your cells.

Test-tube and animal studies have shown that these antioxidants protect skin from sun damage and reduce the risk of cancer, eye diseases, and other illnesses.

However, keep in mind that more human-based studies are needed to make health recommendations.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin | High levels of antioxidants may reduce the risk of chronic diseases

Beta Carotene Boost

Just like their orange cousins ​​carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene. Your body changes this antioxidant into vitamin A. You need vitamin A to ward off germs and for your reproductive system to function as it should. It also keeps your heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs healthy. This is one of the most impressive health benefits of pumpkin.

Vitamin packs can boost immunity

Pumpkin contains many nutrients that can boost your immune system.

First, it’s high in beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.

Studies show that vitamin A can boost your immune system and help fight infections. Conversely, people with vitamin A deficiency may have a weaker immune system.
Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to increase white blood cell production, help immune cells work more efficiently, and speed wound healing.

In addition to these two vitamins, pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin E, iron and folate – all of which have been shown to support the immune system.

Low nutrient and calorie density can promote weight loss

Low nutrient and calorie density can promote weight loss | Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is considered a nutrient-rich food.

That means it’s extremely low in calories despite being packed with nutrients.

In fact, pumpkin contains less than 50 calories per cup (245 grams) and is about 94% water.

Simply put, pumpkin is a weight loss-friendly food because you can consume more than other carb sources – such as rice and potatoes – and still absorb fewer calories.

What’s more, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, which can help curb your appetite.

Antioxidant content may reduce cancer risk

Cancer is a serious disease in which cells grow abnormally.

Cancer cells produce free radicals to help them multiply rapidly.
Pumpkin is high in carotenoids, which are compounds that can act as antioxidants. This allows them to neutralize free radicals, which may protect against some cancers.

For example, an analysis of 13 studies found that people with higher intakes of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene had a significantly lower risk of stomach cancer.

Similarly, many other human studies have found that people with higher intakes of carotenoids have an increased risk of throat, pancreatic, breast, and other cancers.
However, scientists are not sure whether the carotenoids themselves or other factors – such as the lifestyle habits of people who eat a carotenoid-rich diet – are responsible for these reduced risks.


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