• Motivate Fitness

The Health Benefits of Pumpkins

Mostly known for being a part of Halloween decorations or a pie filling, pumpkins are

also packed with nutrition and offer a wide range of health benefits. Pumpkins are a

storehouse of vitamins , mineral and other healthy nutrients. Whether it is the pulp or the

seeds, pumpkins are great for your health and can offer some incredible benefits.

Nutritional Composition of Pumpkins

High Carotenoids Content – Pumpkins owe their bright Orange color to the high amount

of carotenoids present in them. Carotenoids assist in staving off the free radicals in the

body, and help in preventing premature aging, cardiovascular diseases and other

infections. They are also high in Lutein & Zeaxanthin which protect the eyes against free

radical damage and prevent formation of cataracts and degeneration of the eye tissues.

Protein – Pumpkin seeds also known as Pepitas are a rich source of protein. One ounce of

pumpkin seeds contains approx. 7 grams of protein. Their oil is high in phytosterols or

plant-based fatty acids and their chemical composition is the same as cholesterol .

Phytosterols can replace cholesterol in the body, and help in reducing the blood

cholesterol levels.

Essential Fatty Acids – Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids, which

have numerous health benefits. From providing protection against serious health diseases

such as high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer to promoting healthy skin and improving

brain power, essential fatty acids present in pumpkin oil offer several health benefits.

Vitamin A – Pumpkin is a rich source of Vitamin A. Regular consumption of pumpkin

(both seeds and flesh) can promote the health of your eyes and boost your immune

system remarkably.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C helps fight free radicals, improves immunity and promotes the

production of collagen. The high Vitamin C content in pumpkins also offers protection

against various forms of cancer.

Magnesium - Both the pulp and seeds of pumpkin are rich in magnesium, which is an

important mineral required for various biological functions. Magnesium is also required

for the maintenance bones and teeth.

Potassium & Zinc – Pumpkin is loaded with potassium and Zinc. Studies show that

eating a potassium-rich diet can prevent onset of cardiovascular diseases and

hypertension. Zinc is important for providing bone density support for people at risk for

osteoporosis. It boosts the immune system and promotes reproductive health.

Fiber – Pumpkin flesh is very low in calories and contains abundant quantities of

extremely good dietary fiber. It is extremely effective for treating gastrointestinal

disorders such as constipation , indigestion etc. The high amount of fiber also helps in

lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood and in regulating the blood sugar


Health Benefits of Pumpkin Flesh and Seeds

Prostate Cancer – The protective compounds present within the pumpkin seeds, called

phytosterols can lower the risk of prostate cancer. These work by shrinking the prostate

and stimulating the secretion of chemicals that protect against the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High DHT levels can cause enlargement of the prostate glands.

Anti-Inflammatory Effect – The Beta carotene present in pumpkin seeds and flesh has

antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Regular consumption of pumpkin can

protect against joint inflammation and arthritis. Pumpkins have been known to provide

relief from inflammation quickly, without the harmful side-effects of anti-inflammatory


Great on your skin – The high amount of Vitamin A, C and E as well as Zinc present in

pumpkin, make it a great choice for those who want a healthy and glowing skin. Have a

cup of pumpkin seeds per day to prevent appearance of wrinkles and to keep your skin

hydrated and nourished.

Prevents Kidney Stones – Have 5 to 10 grams of pumpkin seeds every day. This

stimulates the kidneys and prevents the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Depression – Pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers

feelings of well-being and happiness. Having pumpkin as a part of your daily diet can

keep your spirits high and prevent depression.

Treatment of Parasites – In various cultures especially China, pumpkins are used to treat

infections caused by tapeworms and other parasites.

Diuretics – Pumpkins are natural diuretics. These help in flushing out the toxins and

unwanted waste material from the body, leaving you refreshed and healthy.

With so many health benefits, it is no wonder that pumpkin is an important part of the list

of Super Foods . Next time you are carving a pumpkin, do not throw away the pulp or the

seeds – instead boil, bake or cook them in any form you like.

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