Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colors. This bright orange-yellow vegetable is rich in fiber, protein and anti-oxidants. The pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
The real power from the pumpkins is beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is known for its immune-boosting powers, is essential for eye health and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease.
It is also a very low calorie vegetable: 100 grams of the vegetable provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; and is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers. Pumpkins are also a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. It is a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
The seeds are also very nutritious; they 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. Roast them slow in the oven for 15- 20 min at 160 degrees on a baking sheet topped with some seasoning of your choice.
Now is pumpkin season and it is easy to find delightful recipes anywhere. Add pumpkin to your diet!! You can make anything from pies, parfaits, breads, etc.