Halloween: 6 Ways To Get More Than Juice From Your Pumpkin
Pumpkin is one symbol that is significant and conspicuous as the world celebrates Halloween, but there is more to the vegetable than just being a Halloween costume.
This vegetable can do a lot for you if only you will look beyond the Halloween effect to the nutritional value.
Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food that is very rich in vitamins and minerals that your body needs, and it is very low in calories.
Pumpkin seeds, leaves and juices can make powerful nutritional punch that you should receive.
The Nutritional Breakdown of this Halloween costume plant gives you an idea of the nutrient packed in the orange ball.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains:
1.76 g of protein
2.7 g of fibre
0.17 g of fat
0 g of cholesterol
12.01 g of carbohydrate
This amount of pumpkin also provides:
More than 200% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, 19% of the RDA of vitamin C, 10% or more of the RDA of vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese at least 5% of thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
What these nutritional benefits translate into is that Pumpkin can:
1. Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Research has suggested a positive relationship between a diet rich in beta-carotene and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Men should munch this vegetable.
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.
2. Regulate Blood Pressure
For those who are susceptible to blood pressure, eating pumpkin is good for the heart. The fibre, 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.
Pumpkin has its natural taste that you do not need to add salt to your food when you eat it.
Increased potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, and preservation of bone mineral density.
3. Combat Diabetes
Pumpkins have a powerful effect on glucose absorption. This can help keep diabetes at bay.
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.
4. Provide Daily Fibre
Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fibre and that makes it good for people watching their weight, as it also has very low calories.
Fibre slows the rate of sugar absorption into the blood, as well as promoting regular bowel movements and smooth digestion. A healthful fibre intake can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
5. Improve Immune Health
Pumpkin can protect immunity, as the pulp and seeds are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene. These offer a boost to the immune system using a powerful combination of nutrients.
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Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A. This triggers the creation of white blood cells that fight infection.
6. Improve Fertility
The seed of pumpkin and the pulp itself contain folate and this makes it a great meal for people looking to conceive.
Folic acid is an important vitamin for both men and women. Getting enough folic acid can help decrease the risk of birth defects, and it may improve sperm count in men.
How To Enjoy Pumpkin
Look beyond the Halloween to that vegetable market near you and grab your pumpkin to give your body the nutrient it needs.
Pumpkin could be used to replace butter in your diet, could be boiled and used to eat yam. It could be boiled and eaten the way it is.
You can also boil the seed and chew it as a source of folate and fibre. You can also blend the boiled pulp with other fruits and drink as juice.
Enjoy your Halloween with pumpkin.
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