Pumpkin has always remained as a mute spectator in the kitchen. We only remember pumpkin when you haven’t got anything else in the fridge. Yet, it has somewhat become an integral part of our Indian lives!
So, what makes pumpkin so common in every household?
Scientists were late to discover what our grandmothers said for ages, “eat your vegetables.” Interestingly, the bright orange-colored pumpkin is one such vegetable that is itself a superfood.
What are the benefits of eating pumpkin?
Before we take on that question, let’s check out the nutritional profile of pumpkin.
A Closer Look at the Nutrients of Pumpkin
Pumpkin provides you with a healthy dose of macro and micronutrients. It contains protein, fiber, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients:
Vitamins: A, C, E, B6,
Minerals: Magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folate, potassium, manganese, riboflavin
We still haven’t listed all the nutrients of pumpkin. It has more nutritional value than many popular vegetables out there.
Now, we will take a look at some of the uncommon benefits of pumpkin. Scientists are discovering new things every day, and some you may not know about. We start off with one of the most unheard benefits of pumpkin-
Anti-Fungal and Anti-Microbial
Extracts from pumpkin revealed anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Scientists were even able to treat certain bacteria with pumpkin seeds. As a result, pumpkin may be effective against infections and fungal activities.
These properties of pumpkin are recently discovered, so we need more research. However, eating pumpkin regularly may keep you free of certain diseases.
Diabetes is a common disease of the present age. Unhealthy diet and lifestyle have caused many people to turn diabetic. Apart from medicines, herbal solutions are also common in different parts of the world to counter diabetes.
Pumpkin, with its rich bioactive components, is a good food to have if you have diabetes. The vegetable has remarkable hypoglycaemic activity or the ability to lower blood sugar.
However, scientists aren’t still fully sure what makes pumpkin such a good companion for insulin-dependent people. They have been able to isolate a few elements like phenolic phytochemicals that hold the potential, according to the studies.
You can include pumpkin in your diet with other diabetic-regulating food.
Supports Weight Loss
People looking to lose weight can include pumpkin in their diet. It’s rich in fiber and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Additionally, pumpkin packs very few calories to feature in all weight-loss diets.
However, eating pumpkin will not lead to weight loss. It can only support your efforts while losing weight. Cook a lot of dishes with pumpkin to get the most benefits.
Can pumpkin make you sleep like a baby?
Researchers have found another unique benefit of pumpkin that you surely don’t know. Pumpkin oil has successfully helped chronic insomnia patients sleep better in clinical trials. Scientists found pumpkin to promote both sleep quality and quantity when they studied it for hypnotic effects.
Pumpkin contains ample tryptophan and zinc, both of which are precursors of melatonin. The seeds of pumpkin are best if you want a good night’s sleep.
Good for the Heart
Several doctors will tell you pumpkin supports heart health. However, most sites on the internet say it’s due to the potassium and nutrients. Scientists have taken a closer look at pumpkin and discovered quite a few interesting things.
Pumpkin has an overall beneficial effect on blood pressure. This may be due to the presence of a therapeutic fatty acid profile and β-sitosterol. Additionally, researchers also found pumpkin to reduce arterial blood pressure.
Moreover, pumpkin reduces bad cholesterol and helps produce more good cholesterol. Everything combines to lower risks of cardiovascular diseases and improve heart health.
Pumpkin is a potent storehouse of magnesium and zinc. Both minerals can play a role in reducing depressive symptoms and anxiety. Zinc has a role in controlling how we respond to stress and can help lower depression.
In fact, the more you are depressed, the more you are low on zinc. So, ensuring you have healthy levels of this mineral can keep you happy.
Additionally, pumpkin comes with magnesium that has a calming effect. Researchers have even used magnesium successfully to treat major depression. Moreover, magnesium also helped patients recover faster.
Cook some pumpkin with assorted veggies next time you feel down for a better time.
Pumpkin, especially the seeds, seem to be effective in lowering the risks of various cancers. Diets that contain a generous amount of pumpkin seeds are linked with lower levels of-
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Prostate cancer
Along with the above, pumpkin also reduced tumor weight in animal studies. However, we need more research before pumpkin can be recommended for cancer treatment. Eating a diet with fresh vegetables is always advisable, as they promote wellbeing.
Turns Men On
This is certainly a rare and unique pro of pumpkin. One study found the aroma of pumpkin to get men’s blood flowing. Among various odors, the smell of pumpkin produced the highest sexual stimulation.
Scientists feel it may be the classic Pavlovian response or ways pumpkin odor actives our neural pathways. Whatever may be the reason, maybe you can cook your husband some pumpkin next time he returns grouchy from work!
Additionally, zinc and other minerals in pumpkin may promote men’s sexual health.
Keeps You Healthy
Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food, as you already know. The high amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and beneficial elements support your immunity. Pumpkin also provides a lot more than your daily vitamin C requirements. On top of that, the vegetable is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
Including pumpkin in your daily meals is a sure way to stay healthy and prevent common ailments. It may also be beneficial in reducing symptoms of bladder disorders.
Pumpkin is a great vegetable to cook daily and provides a range of health benefits. You can prepare several dishes with pumpkin, both Indian and international. Plus, you can also make several smoothies out of your orange nutrient powerhouse. Always shop for the freshest pumpkins for the most benefits and optimum health.