Pumping Up Your Health With Pumpkins
By Carol DiPirro • November 1st, 2010 • 6212 Views
Pumpkin is one of the most nutritious foods available year round. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients.
Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7000 years to 5500 B.C. Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed. When settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians and it soon became a staple in their diets too. The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.
Beta carotene - The rich orange color is a give away to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Research shows that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop certain cancers than those who fail to include beta-carotene-rich foods in their diet.
Loaded with Potassium - The potassium found in pumpkin aids in balancing fluid levels in the body, promotes strong bones, is necessary for energy production, and helps to control blood pressure.
Zinc - Not only is zinc a major boost for your immune system, it also aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis.
High in Fiber - Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber; one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect the body against heart disease, control blood sugar levels, promote healthy digestion, and plays a role in weight loss.
Great on your skin - Pumpkins contain a ton of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging.
Pumpkin Seeds and Prostate Cancer
While pumpkin flesh is nutrient-rich, pumpkin seeds also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
There have been many stories recently linking the pumpkin seed to a healthy prostate. But what is so special about these seeds? The protective compounds present within the seed of the pumpkin, called phytosterols, may be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also contain chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT...
Nutrition, Healthier Diet, Health Promoting Foods, Antioxidants, healthy recipes