We’ve all heard that pumpkin is good for your eyesight but did you know that there are plenty more healthy and nutritional benefits you can get from a pumpkin and its seeds?
Here are some nutrition and health benefits of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds:
- The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for “large melon.” Pumpkins are grown all around the world for a variety of reasons ranging from agricultural purposes (such as animal feed) to commercial and ornamental sales. Of the seven continents, only Antarctica is unable to produce pumpkins.
- Pumpkins are part of the squash family and they are usually large, round and vibrant orange with a slightly ribbed, tough and smooth outer skin. Inside the pumpkin are the seeds and flesh. When cooked, the whole pumpkin is edible – the skin, pulp and seeds – you just need to remove the stringy bits which hold the seeds in place.
- Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A. It also contains some minerals including calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins E, C and some B vitamins. It is one of the very low-calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber and anti-oxidants.
One cup of cooked pumpkin provides:
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Vitamin K: 49% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Copper, manganese and riboflavin: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
Iron: 8% of the RDI
Folate: 6% of the RDI
Niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and thiamin: 5% of the RDI
Pumpkin seeds – also sometimes referred to as pepitas (Spanish for “little seed of squash.”) Unlike the hard white seeds from a carving pumpkin, most pumpkin seeds bought at the supermarket don’t have a shell. These shell-free seeds are green, flat and oval.
Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of valuable nutrients. Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. They’re also rich in protein, minerals, essential fatty acids, and the natural phytochemical known as phytosterol. It is the only seed that is alkaline – forming and can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
A 28g serving contains:
Fiber: 1.7 grams
Carbs: 5 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 33% of the RDIManganese: 42% of the RDI
Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Zinc: 14% of the RDI
Copper: 19% of the RDI
Because Pumpkin and Pumpkin seeds are so nutrient-packed, they are also beneficial for:
– A healthy heart
– Reducing inflammation for arthritis
– Helps prevent kidney stone formation
– Reducing bone weakness and symptoms of osteoporosis
– Promoting good sleep and providing relief from insomnia and anxiety
– Promoting prostate and urinary health
– Lowering depression
– Improving immune support
– Stabilizing Blood Sugar
– Good Blood Builder
So if you’re in the mood for a delicious snack that doubles as a phenomenal health food, look no further than a serving of pumpkin or pumpkin seeds!
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