Pumpkins have high nutritional value and offer a number of health benefits. This article provides some information on the same.
Pumpkin is a type of squash that belongs to the Cucurbita genus of the Cucurbitaceae family. They look quite similar to gourds. Their origin is not known, but it is said that they originated in North America. They are now cultivated worldwide (except Antarctica). Pumpkin is technically considered to be a fruit whereas in culinary purposes it is said to be a vegetable. It is a deep yellow to orange-colored fruit with a thick shell and thick flesh, with seeds inside. Apart from creating jack-o’-lanterns and other Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, it plays a vital role in the culinary department as well. Almost all parts of the fruit including flesh, seeds, shell, leaves, and flowers are edible, and widely used in food recipes in various parts of the world. It is used in boiled, roasted, baked, mashed, and steamed forms. It is also a staple fruit for various delicious recipes that are prepared for Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations in the US. Being a common food item, it would be interesting to know more about its nutrition facts.
It is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. Here is a table that explains the nutrition facts of the fruit. Here’s nutritional information for a cup of cooked and canned pumpkin.
|1 cup Cooked Pumpkin Nutritional Value|
|Protein||Dietary fibers||Carbohydrates||Calories||Potassium||Calcium||Vitamin A||Niacin||Folate||Vitamin C||Vitamin E||Iron||Magnesium||Zinc||Selenium|
|2 g||3 g||12 g||49||564 mg||37 mg||2650 IU||1 IU||21 mcg||12 mg||3 mg||1.4 mg||22 mg||0.50 mg||1.5 mg|
Nutrition Facts of the Seeds
Along with various recipes of the flesh, raw fruit seeds also can be used for various culinary purposes. Apart from their taste, these seeds are also consumed for their bountiful health benefits. These seeds are a rich source of various important minerals like magnesium, manganese, and zinc. They also contain significant traces of copper, phosphorous, tryptophan, and vitamin K.
|1 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds Nutritional Value|
|Protein||Dietary fibers||Carbohydrates||Calories||Total fat||Saturated fat||Polyunsaturated fat||Monounsaturated fat||Cholesterol||Magnesium||Manganese|
|33.9 g||5.4 g||24.6 g||747||63.3 g||12 g||28.8 g||19.7 g||0 mg||1200 mg||6.8 mg|
With the presence of so many essential minerals and vitamins, it is indeed a nutritional powerhouse. The fruit is rich with carotenoids that act as immune system boosters. It also contains cucurbitacin and beta-carotene, which are extremely useful in treating health conditions like prostate cancer and UTI (Urinary Tract Infections). It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It also contains alpha-carotene that slows down the aging process, and also prevents several eye problems such as cataract and macular degeneration. It is also beneficial for health conditions like hypertension, high blood sugar levels, etc. The seeds are rich in phytosterols, magnesium, manganese, amino acids, and vitamin K. All these nutrients are beneficial when in comes to improving one’s overall health. Baking the seeds can be a healthy alternative to the high-calorie snacks that we consume.
With the wide range of health benefits and high nutritive value, including pumpkins in one’s diet might prove quite beneficial.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.