Pumpkin is not only a delicious and versatile food, but it is also very healthy.
Pumpkin is one of the most popular foods of autumn. It adds color to plates, can be prepared in many ways, and it is healthy too. Pumpkins are usually eaten roasted, and they come in many shapes, colors and flavors.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and, in addition to beautifying the skin, it can help maintain good vision, support the immune system and, thanks to its antioxidant compounds, help fight cancer. It is also low in calories, so it can be included even in a weight loss diet.
Full of vitamins and minerals
The color of pumpkins shows that they are particularly rich in carotenoids, alpha and beta-carotene, which are converted into vitamin A in the body. It also contains vitamins C, B2, E, potassium, copper, manganese, and iron. It contains small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and several B vitamins.
In autumn and winter, it’s especially good for warding off colds and for vitamin supplementation. Plus, the seeds are edible and rich in healthy fats. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have shown that the oil extracted from pumpkins can also help relieve problems associated with an overactive bladder.
Helps the immune system
Beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, supports the immune system, and helps fight infections. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is crucial for the immune system, but cannot be produced by the body, so one needs to get the right amount through diet. The recommended intake is 80 mg/day, but this can be increased during epidemic periods. Deficiencies include slower healing of wounds and susceptibility to diseases.
Protects the heart
Pumpkin helps prevent heart disease due to its antioxidant compounds, vitamin C and potassium content. Studies have shown that potassium can reduce blood pressure, which is an extremely important health benefit, as hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease that can go unnoticed for a long time and can lead to serious complications, vascular damage and damage to the coronary arteries that feed the heart.
Although eyesight generally deteriorates with age, proper nutrition can help slow this process and preserve visual acuity. Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the retina, the nerve membrane of the eye. Studies have also shown that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop cataracts, which are often the main culprit for vision loss.
Effects against chronic and cancerous diseases
Pumpkin is rich in antioxidant compounds. These include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are a by-product of metabolic processes in cells, but can also be introduced from the external environment, for example by air pollution, chemicals, and tobacco smoke. Free radicals, although involved in defense against certain pathogens, are best known for their cell-damaging effects.
If the free radical – antioxidant balance in the body is upset, chronic and cancerous diseases may develop. Although more research is needed on the subject, beta and alpha carotenes have been found in several cases to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer and stomach cancer.
What can be made from pumpkins?
Pumpkins can be used to make heavenly treats, such as thick, deliciously spicy cream soup, sweet and spicy pumpkin pie, or even a delicious cinnamon roll. Roasted in the oven and seasoned appropriately, pumpkin can be transformed into a warming snack in no time at all, and a little honey makes it even more delicious.
The onset of cold weather brings with it colds, flu, and a weakened immune system, which can leave you particularly vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. A healthy lifestyle can play a big part in avoiding these, and certain foods can help make the body better prepared to fight them.