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7 Health Benefits Of Pumpkins

Last updated June 20, 2016

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Superfoods is going to teach you why you should take the time and make that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with real pumpkin instead of canned squash. We're also going to inspire you to add more delicious pumpkin to your diet. 


In many regions of the world, including North America and the United Kingdom, the "pumpkin" traditionally refers to only certain round, orange varieties of winter squash, primarily derived from Cucurbita pepo. Individuals who speak Australian English usually refer winter squash of any appearance as a “pumpkin.” A pumpkin is incredibly full of vitamins and minerals but low on calories, making it very healthy to consume. The seeds are especially popular, being a seasonal snack in the autumn.

Here are the 7 health benefits of the pumpkin.

1.     Pumpkins are great for promoting eye health.

Pumpkins contain vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A, which have shown to promote better eye health and prevent damage from degeneration. One cup of vitamin A contains 100 percent of daily needs.

2.     Pumpkin seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Research has shown that pumpkin seed possesses anti-inflammatory agents. Pumpkin seeds have been directly associated with a decrease in inflammation and the associated pain of arthritis.

3.     Pumpkins can help maintain a balanced blood pressure.

Pumpkins contain fiber, potassium, and vitamin C to help the consumer treat high blood pressure. Hypertension has been known to be improved when the individual is consuming adequate potassium and low sodium.

4.     Pumpkin seeds can help prevent kidney stones.

Pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduction of toxins in the body, due to its diuretic properties and antioxidant activity. Also, increased potassium intake has been associated with a decrease in the formation of kidney stones.

5.     Pumpkin seeds can help treat anxiety and insomnia.

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep, often due to stress. Pumpkin seeds are rich in both magnesium and tryptophan, which have been known to be associated with sedation and soothing qualities that stimulate sleep.

6.     Pumpkins can help promote fertility.

Pumpkins are an excellent source of iron and vitamin A. Iron shows to promote fertility for women in the child-bearing age. Vitamin A has been associated with lactation for hormone synthesis.

7.     Pumpkin seeds can help improve cholesterol and heart health.

Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, which have directly associated with lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, preventing blood clots and atherosclerosis.

References:

  1. Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved August 14, 2017, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2601/2
  2. Publications, H. H. (n.d.). Follow The Fertility Diet? Retrieved August 14, 2017, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/follow-fertility-diet
  3. Okuyama, Y., Ozasa, K., Oki, K., Nishino, H., Fujimoto, S., & Watanabe, Y. (2014). Inverse associations between serum concentrations of zeaxanthin and other carotenoids and colorectal neoplasm in Japanese. International journal of clinical oncology19(1), 87-97.
  4. Houston, M. C. (2011). The importance of potassium in managing hypertension. Current hypertension reports13(4), 309-317.
  5. Cogswell, M. E., Zhang, Z., Carriquiry, A. L., Gunn, J. P., Kuklina, E. V., Saydah, S. H., ... & Moshfegh, A. J. (2012). Sodium and potassium intakes among US adults: NHANES 2003–2008. The American journal of clinical nutrition96(3), 647-657.
  6. Wu, K., Erdman, J. W., Schwartz, S. J., Platz, E. A., Leitzmann, M., Clinton, S. K., ... & Giovannucci, E. (2004). Plasma and dietary carotenoids, and the risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers13(2), 260-269.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 24, 2014
Last updated: June 20, 2016