Pumpkin Helps Reduce Wrinkles, Balance Electrolytes and May Reduce Cancer Risk
It’s that time of year when pumpkin mania hits; pumpkin Jack o’ Lanterns, carving contests and of course pumpkin pie.
And when it comes to Mother Nature, she has it all figured out.
This bright orange squash plant is harvested in late fall, just in time for the body to collect needed nutrients for the winter.
Like squash, pumpkin is thought to have originated in North America. However, the oldest confirmation of pumpkin-related seeds dates back to 7000 and 5500 BC. These seeds were found in Mexico.
Centuries before pilgrims landed in North America, Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets. Oftentimes the pumpkin was dried into strips for extra winter nutrition. Pumpkin was also cut into long strips and roasted over an open fire. In addition, dried pumpkin was woven into mats. Indians would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and eat them.
Today, pumpkin is one of the most popular crops grown in North America. There are 1.5 billion pounds (680,000,000 kilograms) of pumpkins produced each year. The chief pumpkin producing states are California, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
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Pumpkin’s Impressive Health Benefits
There are endless mouthwatering recipes for pumpkin such as
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Pumpkin risotto
- Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup
- Sweet and Spicy Canned Pumpkin
- Even pumpkin beer
Not only does pumpkin make some marvelous meals but this lovely orange squash has some impressive health benefits:
Protects the Skin and Reduce Wrinkles
According to Health magazine, pumpkins orange coloring is from carotenoids; a wrinkle-fighting plant pigment that aids in neutralizing free radicals in the skin. When free radicals are neutralized, cells that quickly damage and age the skin are thwarted.
Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E plus effective enzymes that hydrates and cleanses the skin .
Helps Balance Electrolytes after an Intense Workout
Did you know that pumpkin contains more refueling nutrient potassium than bananas? Just one cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams. One cup of bananas has 422 milligrams.
Consuming just a little extra potassium will help restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after an intense workout. The added potassium will also keep your muscles functioning at their best.
May Reduce Cancer Risk
Like other orange vegetables, pumpkin contains a high amount of antioxidant beta-carotene. According to the National Cancer Institute, beta-carotene may be a possible solution to cancer prevention. Their studies also found that beta-carotene foods sources are a lot more effective than supplements.
As well, pumpkin seeds are said to help fight off particular cancers.
Other Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a widely grown vegetable that is rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins. In truth, it has a wide array of health benefits. Here are just a few of the many health giving properties:
Keeps Eyesight Sharp -Just cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. It is vitamin A that helps vision, particularly in dim light.
Assists with Weight Loss – Pumpkin is a great source of fiber. In fact, it has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving and only 49 calories. The low calories and high fiber are said to help with weight loss. In effect, pumpkin can keep you feeling full for longer on less calories. According to research, a fiber-rich diet appears to help people eat less, and thus helps them lose weight. Just one serving can help you stay fuller and consume less throughout a meal.
May Boost Immune System – Many researchers claim that Vitamin C can boost the immune system and ward off colds. One cup of pumpkin contains more than 11 milligrams of Vitamin C. That is near 20 percent of the IOM (Institute for Medicine) recommendations for women and about 16 percent for men.
The health benefits of pumpkin seeds are numerous, from preventing prostate cancer to a natural curative for depression.
Help Your Heart – Rich in phytosterols (a plant based substance), pumpkins seeds are said to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol in scientific studies.
Boost Your Mood – High in the amino acid tryptophan (helps produce serotonin), pumpkin plays a large role in boosting your mood. Just a handful of pumpkin seeds may help fight depression.
Cancer Prevention – Pumpkins seeds are high in phytosterols, a natural plant steroid compound said to lower cholesterol also protect against many cancers such as prostate cancer.
Natural Anti-Inflammatory – without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, pumpkin seeds effectively reduce inflammation.
Recipe Ideas for Pumpkin
There are worlds of pumpkin recipes that are extraordinarily delicious. Here are just a few:
Great Sources for buying Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Under no circumstances is this article intended for healthcare advice. It is highly recommended that you seek a qualified healthcare specialist if you are having health issues or before taking certain herbs or foods like pumpkin for medicinal use.
Close-up of pumpkin: Pumpkin via photopin (license)
Many pumpkins on table: lanterns or pies via photopin (license)
White pumpkins: IMG_6162 via photopin (license)
Pumpkins at the market: orange via photopin (license)
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin guts via photopin (license)
Coconut pumpkin custard: my_amii via photopin cc