Pumpkin : nutrition, shocking medical use & 5 tips

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See also Winter squash.

Pumpkin Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Low
• Protein: Moderate
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: Very high
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, B vitamins
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium, iron (seeds)

How Much Nutrients in This Food

• Pumpkins are very high in dietary fiber (soluble pectins), with moderate amounts of sugar, a little protein, some vitamin C, and a truly extraordinary supply of vitamin A derived from the deep yellow carotenes (including beta-carotene) in the golden pumpkin flesh.

• Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and are particularly high in insoluble cellulose and lignin (in the seed covering). They are high in fat (primarily unsaturated fatty acids rich in vitamin E).

• Their proteins are plentiful but limited in the essential amino acid lysine. They are a good source of the B vitamin folate and nonheme iron, the form of iron in plants.

• One-half cup boiled pumpkin has 1.3 g dietary fiber, 6,115 IU vitamin A (2.6 times the RDA for a woman, 2.1 times the RDA for a man),
and 5.8 mg vitamin C (8 percent of the RDA for a woman, 6 percent of theRDA for a man).

• One ounce dried pumpkin (or squash) seeds has 1.1 g dietary fiber, 13 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 5.9 g polyunsaturated fat), seven grams protein, 16 mcg folate (4 percent of the RDA for a woman, 53 percent of the RDA for a man).

How To Serve Nutritious This Food

Pumpkin. Baked.

Boiled pumpkin absorbs water, so ounce for ounce, baked pumpkin has more nutrients than boiled pumpkin.

Pumpkin seeds.

Dried, with beans (peanuts) to complete the proteins in the seeds.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

• Low-fat (the seeds)
• Low-fiber (particularly the seeds)

You can read rice all the nutrition & amazing medical uses CLICK HERE

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

A pumpkin with a bright orange, blemish-free rind. The pumpkin should feel heavy for its size.

Avoid:

Seeds in sealed packages to protect them from air and moisture.

How To Storing This Food

• Store pumpkins in a cool, dry place and use within a month. Vitamin A is vulnerable to oxygen; the longer the pumpkin is stored, the less vitamin A it will have.

How To Preparing This Food

• Wash the pumpkin under cold running water, then cut it in half or in quarters or in smaller portions, as you wish. Pull off the stringy parts and collect and set aside the seeds. Leave the rind on if you plan to bake large pieces of the pumpkin; peel it off for boiling.

• If the pumpkin is small enough and/or your oven is large enough, you can simply scoop out the strings and
seeds and bake the pumpkin whole, as you would a large acorn squash.

What Happens When You Cook This Food

Pumpkin.

When you bake a pumpkin, the soluble food fibers in its cell walls dissolve and the pumpkin gets softer. If you bake it too long, the moisture inside the cells will begin to evaporate and the pumpkin will shrink.

• When you boil pumpkin, it’s just the opposite. The cell walls still soften, but its cells absorb water and the vegetable swells. (Boil it too long, though, and the cells will rupture, moisture will escape, and the pumpkin once again will shrink).

• Baking also caramelizes sugars on the cut surface of the pumpkin, browning the vegetable. Since the pumpkin is not extraordinarily high in sugars, we help this along by dusting it with brown sugar before baking. Either way, the pumpkin will retain its color and its vitamin A since its carotenoids are impervious to the normal heat of cooking.

Pumpkin seeds.

When you toast pumpkin seeds, their moisture evaporates and they turn crisp and brown. Commercially toasted pumpkin seeds are usually salted and must be considered high-sodium food. To toast pumpkin seeds at home, remove the outer cover of the
seeds and toss the seeds on an ungreased skillet on top of the stove or on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven. Stir often to keep the seeds from burning. They are done when golden.

pumpkin
pumpkin recipe

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food

Canning.

According to the USDA, canned “pumpkin” may be a mixture of pumpkin and other yellow-orange winter squash, all of which are similar in nutritional value.

Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

Lower risk of some cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in betacarotene may lower the risk of cancers of the larynx, esophagus, and lungs. There is no similar benefit from beta-carotene supplements; indeed, one controversial study actually showed a higher rate of lung cancer among smokers taking the supplement.

 

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