11 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin – Staple Vegetable in Households
Pumpkin is one of the most popular vegetables, which is consumed by people worldwide. At the same time, it is also true that there are many people, particularly children, who do not like pumpkin if it is simply cooked and prepared. But if you try various recipes of pumpkin, you will be amazed to find that this vegetable tastes great; in fact it is delicious. Some people have also gone to the extent of calling pumpkin a super-food.
Along with tasting great, health benefits of pumpkin are uncountable and many. Here are Some of the most important ones are as follows:
1. Pumpkin is a rich source of antioxidants
Pumpkin abounds in Vitamin A and is a rich source of antioxidants. Beta carotene is an excellent pro-vitamin, which the body converts into Vitamin A. and Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, which helps in preventing cancer. Immunity is boosted, the cells remain protected and the reproductive system remains healthy with this. Try including pumpkin in different ways in the diet for such benefits.
2. Helps in getting better sleep
Good quality sleep is very important for good health. Pumpkin contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid. This component turns into serotonin. There are different kinds of neurotransmitters in the brain and serotonin is a feel good neurotransmitter in this regard. Increased levels of serotonin help in settling down, relax, unwind and get good quality sleep.
3. Helps in lowering blood pressure levels
Hypertension is among common ailments from which majority of people suffer nowadays. Pumpkin seed oil contains good volumes of phytoestrogens and these components help in combating the problem of hypertension successfully. Both diastolic and systolic blood pressure can be controlled with this oil and a healthy pressure can be maintained.
4. Keeps one fuller for less calorie intake
Pumpkin seeds contain 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce of seeds. Moreover, mashed pumpkin has about 50 calories of energy per cup along with 3 grams of fiber. Intake of fiber helps in keeping one feel fuller for a long time. As a result, appetite is curbed significantly so that intake of food is minimized and calorie intake is restricted as well. The problem of weight gain can be averted with pumpkin successfully.
5. Helps in having a healthy heart
The fiber content in pumpkin has shown to have great results for a healthy heart. It has been found in a research that people who were on a high - fiber diet had a lower risk of coronary heart ailment by almost 40-50%. Pumpkin based desserts will not be of much help in this regard. It is recommended to add pumpkin chunks in mixed vegetables or sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads etc. Try doing this and see the great benefits that pumpkin brings to your heart health.
6. Great for vision
Among the different kinds of vitamins that are great for vision, Vitamin A needs special mention. And interestingly, pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A. About a cup of cubed pumpkin contains double the recommended amount of vitamin A and helps in having better vision even in dim light. Retinal functions deteriorate with time and the process can be slowed with regular consumption of pumpkin. If the retinal disorder is not tackled at the right time, it might lead to blindness.
7. Betters prostate health in men significantly
Problems in the prostate gland start rearing their ugly heads in most men after a certain age. In fact, reports have shown that rates of prostate cancer are also increasing rapidly globally. Diet of men should therefore contain pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Since pumpkin seeds contain large amounts of zinc, it can help in restricting onset of prostate cancer successfully. Cook different recipes with pumpkin or try using pumpkin seeds in salads etc to reap the benefits of the vegetable successfully.
8. Helps in boosting mood effectively
In this stress filled, hectic lifestyle, people have forgotten to relax and unwind. In fact, people tend to remain worried and sad and not in the right frame of mind. This happens because the levels of ‘fee good hormone’ serotonin are low in individuals. Research has found out that more and more people are becoming victims of stress and depression hampering daily activities. Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in the body and elevates mood successfully. And with good mood, you can succeed in any work you do.
9. Helps in keeping balanced potassium levels in the body
Potassium is one of the most important minerals that are required for maintaining a healthy mind and body. People who have potassium deficiency suffer from various kinds of problems like muscle weakness, fatigue, inactive reflex and so on. And these will cause hindrance in carrying out daily works on personal and professional levels. Pumpkin is a rich source of potassium and should be included in the diet of a person, who suffers from potassium deficiency.
10. Helps in getting younger looking skin
Antioxidant properties of pumpkin are not unknown. This is one of the properties, which helps in getting younger looking skin as the antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage and make it look young and bright and beautiful. Pumpkin contains abundant amounts of beta-carotene, which offers protection from UVA and UVB rays of sun successfully. Thus problems of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, pigmentation etc can be avoided with the same. Along with eating pumpkin as part of food, it is also recommended to use pumpkin in different face masks and packs. This is because pumpkin has excellent exfoliating qualities along with soothing the skin from deep within.
Next time, your child or any family member refuses to eat pumpkin, tell them about these amazing health benefits that this amazing vegetable offers. Look up on the internet or search in recipe books for some interesting pumpkin recipes, which are not only tasty to eat, but nutritious at the same time. Along with pumpkin, the seeds of the vegetable are also very useful and contain many health benefits. Try using them in various ways to get maximum benefits from the same.