Pumpkin is fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family ,and is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.
It is one of the very low calorie vegetables,100 g provides just 20 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and is recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Pumpkin is excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as a, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body, and is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucusa and help human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins,and excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan.
Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
Pumpkin flesh and juice can even be used as diuretics and experts recommend drinking a glass of pumpkin juice in the morning on an empty stomach. Furthermore, it is apparent that an extract of pumpkin juice, works well for gastric problems and prostate diseases.
Pumpkin flesh can be used to make a beauty mask that can tone and brighten the face almost miraculously, for all types skin, and especially oily skin with lots of black heads, become much cleaner and smoother.
Pumpkin can be used in variety of delicious recipes – fresh juice, baked and steam-cooking in order to get maximum nutrients. The fruit is used in the preparations of risotto, soups, soufflès , pies, custard, ravioli…etc in Europe.
Here are some serving tips: