Why do I love pumpkins-let me count the ways…
- They are the start of fall- one of my favorite times.
- They can be boiled, sautéed, pureed or roasted and they come with a built in container you can reuse.
- They are full of vitamins, minerals antioxidants and beta carotene. Health boost on a vine!
- They make the young and old smile and giggle in delight.
- They are Mother Natures medicine cabinet and here is why:
- It is one of the very low-calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C, and vitamin-E.
- At 7,384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural antioxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin-A may help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the human body.
- Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in the retina of the eyes. Thus, it may offer protection from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the older adults.
- The fruit is a good source of the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- It is also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Also, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals, and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%), etc., but zero cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan converted into GABA in the brain.
This amazing fruit is one you need to incorporate and not just at the holidays. If you don’t want to eat one then just set them out and look at them- they will surely make you smile. That in itself can heal you.
Happy Healthy Eating! Dana