Pumpkins are not only particularly popular as decorations on Halloween, but also as seasonal vegetables in autumn. As an extremely nutrient-rich superfood, pumpkins offer many health benefits.
The pumpkin is one of the oldest cultivated food plants and is in principle easy to grow, but requires sufficient water and warmth. In this country, the fruits are usually ready to harvest at the end of September or beginning of October.
Lots of healthy ingredients
The healthy ingredients in the fruits include numerous vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, various B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium and zinc. Other ingredients include fiber, silica and plant sterols.
Promotes a healthy body weight
The fiber found in pumpkin may also help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, says nutritionist Beth Czerwony in a recent Cleveland Clinic post.
This is due, among other things, to the fact that the fiber in pumpkin slows down digestion, which means you stay full for longer. In addition, pumpkin contains only few calories and little fat.
Lowers blood pressure and inhibits inflammation
But consuming pumpkin has many other health benefits. The superfood also contains plenty of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
The vitamin A converted from the beta-carotene in pumpkin not only inhibits inflammation, it is also beneficial for the immune system while improving eye health, the nutritionist continued.
Prevents cell damage
The antioxidants contained in pumpkin ensure healthy skin and also prevent cell damage caused by so-called free radicals, reports nutritionist Amber Sommer from the Cleveland Clinic in another article.
“Too many free radicals create oxidative stress. Over time, oxidative stress causes cell damage and lays the foundation for the development of diseases,” explains Sommer.
Antioxidants fight free radicals, prevent this damage and thus also prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, adds the expert.
Reduces risk of diabetes
A recent study from this year also reported that the fiber contained in pumpkin influences the glycemic response, which reduces the risk of diabetes.
The researchers add that pumpkin leaves have a particularly high antioxidant content, which can prevent oxidative damage to brain cells in a so-called protein-energy malnutrition. Pumpkin seed oil can also reduce the harmful effects on brain tissue caused by aflatoxins.
Include pumpkin in your diet
The study results make it clear that pumpkin is rightly called a seasonal superfood and can bring many benefits for the health of the body and mind. Therefore, pumpkin should be a part of every healthy diet. (as)