Pumpkins are also known by the name of Kaddu in India and unfortunately, it is not one of the favorite vegetables of both kids and adults. However, there are many health benefits of eating pumpkin and here we tell you why you must include this vegetable in your diet.
What is Pumpkin?
Pumpkins are everywhere in the fall, and they make a nutritious addition to your meals, too. Pumpkins are also a type of winter squash. They are native to Central America and Mexico. They are carved into jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and cooked into pies for Thanksgiving dessert in the United States and Canada.
Every part is edible, including the skin, leaves, flowers and stem. They can be eaten raw. A variety of Indian dishes are prepared from pumpkins – Kaddu ki Sabji, Kaddu ka Halwa. It also makes for an essential ingredient in the South Indian dishes like Sambhar and Kashi Halwa.
Why Should You Eat Pumpkin? – High in Nutritional Values
Pumpkin has lots of vitamins and minerals and few calories. Yes, there are a lot of food nutrients present in pumpkins and they are full of nutrients and nutritional value.
According to FDC, and USDA, the value of pumpkin per 100gm are as follows-
- Calcium – 64 mg
- Magnesium – 14 mg
- Potassium – 167 mg
- Sodium – 239 mg
- Phosphorus- 81 mg
- Selenium – 5.4 mg
- Vitamin C – 0 mg
- Choline – 37.5 mg
- Vitamin A – 448 ug
Health Benefits of Pumpkin: It helps in Immunity Boost
Pumpkin contains beta-carotene. Your body can turn beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which strengthens your immune system. Vitamin A is known as an anti-inflammation vitamin because of its critical role in enhancing immune function. It has demonstrated a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases.
Cataracts? Pumpkin is a Great Source of Good Eye Health
Not only is vitamin A good for your immune system, but it also benefits your eye health. Vitamin A paired with Lutein and Zeaxanthin found in pumpkin, makes the squash a food that decreases the risk of sight loss.
Pumpkin, a carotenoid, is rich in nutrients linked to eye health, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (Source)
Pumpkin Health Benefits: A Compound in Kaddu Defends your Body from Certain Skin Diseases
Pumpkins’ health benefits extend even to your skin. Beta-carotene, for instance, works as a natural sunscreen for the skin and protecting it from harmful UV rays, and preventing skin cancer from developing.
Pumpkin can Control Blood Pressure and Shield You From Heart Conditions
Eating fruits and vegetables supports a healthy heart.
Did you know? – Pumpkin contains specific nutrients that are good for heart health such as – Potassium- which may help in lowering blood pressure.
Additionally, the antioxidants in pumpkin work against the oxidation of bad cholesterol.
Wonder why Ladies Drink Pumpkin Juice? Well, it helps in Weight Loss
Pumpkins are rich in cholesterol, and sodium. That’s why pumpkins are ideal for including in your weight loss diets. It is a rich source of vitamin A. Moreover, it is a rich source of fiber, which can also help to curb appetite.
How should you eat Kaddu?
Pumpkin is most often baked into pies or loaves of bread. However, it is also delicious in soups, or even roasted in the oven with some salt and pepper.
Canned pumpkin can be combined with coconut milk and spices to make a creamy curry.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are also a tangy snack and are full of nutrients.
Lastly, Pumpkin May Have Some Side Effects
As we all know pumpkins are healthy and considered safe for most. But some people might experience some allergies after eating pumpkins. It’s a mild diuretic and may harm people who take medicines such as lithium.
Surprised by so many health benefits of pumpkin aka kaddu? Well, we have a list of such healthy vegetables, fruits, seeds, and herbs along with their nutrition. Explore all our sections – Healthy Vegetables, Healthy Fruits, Healthy Seeds and Healthy Herbs.