Welcome to your general health and well-being column…HEALTH- CHECK with Oluwabukunolami…
This week, we shall be discussing the health benefits of pumkin and pumpkin seeds….
Last week we touched on fluted pumpkin popularly known as ugwu,
Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.
There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter ..
Pumpkin is an ideal vegetable for weight loss. It is low in calories, high in dietary fiber… Guy. A 1/2 cup of pumpkin is only 40 calories and contains 8 g of dietary fiber. … If you are on a diet, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels as stable as possible.
The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
The antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
Avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups.
Uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes.
Pumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best -known sources of beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. It also gives orange, vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, while also helping to delay aging and body degeneration.
Many studies have suggested that eating more plant foods such as pumpkin decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality. It can also help prevent diabetes and heart disease.
It promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Pumpkins are also a powerful source of fiber.
REGULATING BLOOD PRESSURE
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart. The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin all supports heart health.
Studies suggest that consuming enough potassium may be almost as important as decreasing sodium intake for the treatment of hypertension, or high blood pressure. Decreasing sodium intake involves eating meals that contain little or no salt..
Increased potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, and preservation of bone mineral density.
Research has suggested a positive relationship between a diet rich in beta-carotene and a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Beta-carotene has also been shown to hold back the development of colon cancer in some of the Japanese population.
Pumpkins contain a wealth of antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.
A cross-sectional study of older African-American women showed that eating 3 or more fruit servings per day was associated with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration.
It also leads to slower progression of the disease.
PUMPKIN HELPS TO CONTROL DIABETES
The plant compounds in pumpkin seeds and pulp are excellent for helping the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines, as well as balancing levels of liver glucose..
They may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but this effect is not consistently demonstrated. However, the compounds have such an impact that researchers suggest that they could be reworked into an anti-diabetic medication, though further studies are needed..
PUMPKIN CAN PROTECT IMMUNITY
Pumpkin pulp and seeds are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene. These offer a boost to the immune system using a powerful combination of nutrients.
Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A. This triggers the creation of white blood cells that helps to fight iinfections..
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF THE PUMPKIN
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains: 1.76 g of protein, 2.7 g of fiber, 49 calories, 0.17 g of fat, 0 g of cholesterol, 12.01 g of carbohydrate,
This amount of pumpkin also provides:..more than 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.. nineteen percent of the RDA of vitamin C.. ten percent or more of the RDA of vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese.. At least 5 percent of thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.. Preparing fresh pumpkin at home will deliver the most benefits for your health..
Pumpkins are packed with carotenoids, which helps to protect your cells against free radical damage.
Like carrots, this orange fruit is rich in beta-carotene, as well as alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. After consuming beta-carotene, for instance, your body converts it into vitamin A, all while boosting overall immune function.
Based on the antioxidant content of pumpkins, many companies are now utilizing its properties to make skin care products.
IMPROVES MUSCLE FUNCTION
The one who may help to improve our muscle function is the presence of potassium. This potassium helps to balance electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscle functioning at their best.
IMPROVES MEN SEXUAL HEALTH
It is no doubt that pumpkin is a solid source of the essential nutrient. However, one fact you may not know is that eating of pumpkin may help to support the men’s health.
Besides, zinc in pumpkin is also having a role on male sexual health. Thus, the function of pumpkin nutrients is not only for women’s health during pregnancy but also for men’s sexual health.
People may have to consume iron contained foods to support the body’s health. Studies show that by consuming iron fertility is promoted. Also, vitamin A and beta-carotene is also an essential nutrient for helping the development of pregnancy.
In addition, eating spinach will also boost the zinc level on your body.
LOWERS RISK OF DIABETES
As a matter of fact, consuming fruits and vegetables may help your body become healthier.
Pumpkin might be the option to recover from diabetic symptoms.
Studies also show that pumpkin takes part in reducing blood glucose levels and increasing the amount of insulin. Therefore, this fruit will really help you to lower and prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress..
It is estimated that over 80 percent of women worldwide have inadequate zinc intake.
Low levels of zinc alter circulating levels of multiple hormones associated with the onset of labor.
In addition to this, zinc is essential for normal immune function and prevention of uterine infections. All of these could potentially contribute to preterm birth.
IMPROVES BONE’S HEALTH
What are the reasons to have pumpkin as part of our food menu?
One of them is because of its ability to improve our bone’s healthy. This function comes due to the presence of high amount of magnesium contained in pumpkin seeds.
In fact, ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds provides almost 50 percent of your daily requirement for magnesium. Further, magnesium acts synergistically with calcium to improve our bone’s health.
PREVENTS EYES DEGENERATION
Research has shown that a higher intake of consuming fruits with vitamin A helps to decrease the risk of macular degeneration.
Also, it shows that antioxidant vitamins and beta-carotene are having a role in protecting our eyes. While pumpkin is providing a high level of vitamin A, it may help you to improve eye’s health. In the same way, antioxidants contained in pumpkin also prevent the degeneration of the eyes.
Thus, consuming this fruit is one of the ways for getting the good visual sight.
The pumpkin seeds are also highly medicinal………
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin so that you can sleep well….
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.
Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health..
Seeds have a high fat content, so they are prone to rancidity. Keep pumpkin seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place to improve shelf life.
If stored properly, pumpkin seeds will keep for 3-4 months..
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
One thing is for sure — pumpkins aren’t just for carving or pie making.
This seasonal fruit offers health-boosting properties..
It is also a delicious ingredient for soup, muffins or even pancakes. Eating more pumpkin will benefit you in a number of ways.
Till I come your way again next week…I remain yours in good health, .. Oluwabukunolami.
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