Pumpkin is one of the few organic superfood whose seed is also a nutrition powerhouse that benefits your immune system, increases levels of good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and fight diabetes.
Pumpkin is believed to have existed in North America between 7000 and 5500 B.C. as evidenced by seeds found at an archeological site in Mexico. This organic superfood were a staple in the Native American diet long before the arrival of pilgrims. They dried them for food and pounded strips to make woven mats. When the colonist arrived and discovered pumpkin, they made dessert, soup and even beer out of it.
Pumpkin is a member of the cucurbitaceae family that includes melons, cucumber and gourd. Its name is taken from the ancient Greek word pepon which means large melon. The plant has both male and female flowers that are pollinated by bees. Pumpkins are usually orange in color, but can also come in yellow, red, white and green. They have a thick shell that houses the flesh and seeds. An average size may weigh around 13 pounds. They are technically a fruit but is considered a vegetable when used in cooking.
Here’s why this organic superfood is considered as a nutrition powerhouse. It is loaded with disease fighting vitamins like vitamin A, E, C and vitamin B complex; essential minerals that include zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron, potassium and manganese. The fruit is super high in dietary fiber, and the seeds is where it is heavily concentrated.
Pumpkin is one of the best immune booster around to help your white blood cell perform well in fighting off infection. It can act as an innate diuretic that gets rid of toxins and waste materials out of your body. The high content of zinc and carotenoids in pumpkin seeds can protect you by blocking the enlargement of the prostate glands and reduce the risk of developing bladder stones. This fruit also contains a good amount of phytosterols to help normalize your cholesterol level.
If you feel depression setting in, this organic superfood can supply you with enough L- tryptophan, a natural compound that helps your body to produce serotonin that makes you feel good and relaxed. They are also packed with powerful anti-oxidant to rid your body of free radicals to lessen your risk of asthma attacks and hardening of the arteries.
Pumpkins are safe to eat by most individuals, especially by children. Known to contain rich amount of beta- carotene, too much consumption may cause carotenemia, a temporary yellowing of the skin, particularly the palm and sole of the feet, but it is non-toxic. Best to be avoided by pregnant and lactating mothers to use as medications. May also cause ejaculation problems in some men.
Whip up pumpkin puree and use it for some delicious breakfast pancakes. Kids love them.
Stay fit. Eat more organic superfood.Photo by: Wikimedia