Pumpkin to boost the immune system and prevent the flu

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It comes from the Americas, but there pumpkin is now very Italian: Italy is in fact one of the main producers in Europe. «Sown in April-May, it is harvested from late summer to November», explains Coldiretti.

There are numerous varieties, which are distinguished by size and shape (some more round, others more elongated, others still giant) and by the color of the skin (orange, beige, but also gray-green), while the pulp is always of a beautiful bright orange. «Color that highlights the high content of beta-carotene, powerful antioxidant. Plus the pumpkin is diuretic and laxativethanks to the contribution of water and fiber, and rich in mineral salts: in particular potassium and magnesium, which give it a muscle relaxant effect, and calcium, for osteoporosis “, explains the doctor Anna D’Eugenionutritionist.

Pulp to strengthen your defenses

Thanks to beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, the pumpkin is excellent in view of the winter to strengthen the body against the attacks of seasonal viruses, including the flu. “Beta-carotene, in fact, boosts the immune system by stimulating the production of T lymphocytes. A portion of pumpkin cream, combined with one of fish and one of vegetables, a meal that also balances the sugary intake of pumpkin, without raising the blood sugar too much, therefore also suitable for diabetics », advises the doctor. “Carotenoids, however, tire the liver, so don’t overdo this vegetable if you have liver problems.”

Precious seeds for male health

Pumpkin seeds, as an embryonic plant, are a source of numerous nutrients. «Thanks to the zinc content I am protective for prostate health and improve sperm production, ”explains the doctor. «But they are also useful for women, especially in menopause, because they are rich in selenium, copper and magnesium, trace elements important for revitalizing cellular metabolism; calcium, useful for bones; vitamin E, antioxidant; omega 3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory; and finally phytosterols, which reduce the absorption of bad cholesterol ».

Green or elongated?

Marina di Chioggia Round and flat, it has a gray-green skin, with evident segments. For gnocchi and risotto.
Violina di Ferrara Similar to a violin case, wrinkled and light hazelnut color. For fillings and creams.

Nutritional values

One pound of pumpkin provides 94.6 g of water, 3.5 g of carbohydrates, 599 micrograms of provitamin A and 18 calories.