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Health Benefits Of Pumpkin – This Halloween & Thanksgiving Fruit Has A Lot To Speak About!

“Pepon!” This is what a pumpkin was called by the Greek. But, the French changed it to “pompon” which was finally changed to Pumpkin by the Americans. Well, whatever it is called, we love it’s plump and orange appearance and I’m sure you will fall in love with it even more after knowing these amazing health benefits of Pumpkin!

7 Health benefits of pumpkin, nutrition facts side effects

Table of Contents

Health Benefits Of Pumpkins At A Single Glance!

Adding pumpkins to your daily diet can prevent cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, boost your immunity, regulate your blood pressure, protect your eye health, help in weight loss, promote healthy skin, reduce inflammation and enhance your health in numerous other ways that you are about to discover as you scroll down the article!

Well, that’s quite a big list of benefits. So, the next time you visit your grocery store to buy a pumpkin, I hope you get reminded of these interesting pumpkin benefits that aid your health in the best possible ways!

1. Pumpkin For Weight Loss

Pumpkin For Weight Loss

Pumpkins Are Low In Calories

Pumpkins are absolutely low in calories and it is pretty much evident that it is in the intake of calories that ultimately determines our weight.

The calories in pumpkin are as low as 49 calories per one cup of mashed, cooked and boiled vegetable!

Studies have to say that the essentials of healthy eating should definitely comprise pumpkin since it is a good source of healthy fats apart from being a low-calorie food. 1

Pumpkins Are Water-Rich Vegetables

Also, pumpkin is 93% water stuffed! So, you wouldn’t feel much hungry after consuming pumpkin since the water content in it keeps you satiated for a pretty long time.

Though pumpkins are low in calories and filled with water, these are also a rich source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, manganese, potassium and riboflavin which helps you stay energized and healthy!

Fibers In Pumpkins Prevents Obesity

Dietary fibres present in pumpkins also play a crucial role in the maintenance of a healthy weight because research has to say that it is the lack of fibre intake among the U.S population that has been causing obesity. 2

Choosing Pumpkins for weight loss can be recommended due to their low-calorie content, the presence of dietary fibre, and rich water content.

2. Heart Health Benefits Of Pumpkin

Heart Health Benefits Of Pumpkin

Foods that carry trans fats and saturated fats are the major culprits of most of the heart diseases because it is the unhealthy fats of these kinds that get accumulated in our arteries, leading to some serious cardiovascular disorders like atherosclerosis!

Polyunsaturated Fats In Pumpkin Protect Heart!

Keeping in view the present scenario of excessive consumption of unhealthy fats, The World Health Organization recommends a diet that replaces saturated and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats which can be found in fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables like pumpkins. 3

Omega 3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids account to 4.9 mg each in a cup of cooked and mashed pumpkin (245 grams) which can reduce the triglycerides (a type of fat cells which can raise the risk of heart diseases). 7

Nutrients In Pumpkin May Prevent The Risk Of Strokes

Vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene present in pumpkin are known to prevent the oxidation of LDL which may otherwise increase the risk of atherosclerosis. However, much research is needed to confirm the influence of the nutrients in protecting the heart. 4

Also, nutritional recommendations of cardiovascular disease prevention suggest a regular intake of fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers because vegetable and fruit consumption, in general, is known to decrease the blood pressure. 5

3. Eat More Pumpkins To Stay Away From Cancer

Eat More Pumpkins To Stay Away From Cancer

Pumpkins have attained a lovely bright orange colour due to the presence of an important antioxidant called beta carotene in them.

The same antioxidant plays quite a substantial role in preventing cancer but the intake of single carotenoid may not alone help. Fill your meal plate with plenty of carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies like tomatoes, cantaloupes, oranges, carrots, bell peppers, watermelons, mangoes, yams, kale and spinach!6

Pumpkins are also the second best source of a much more powerful carotenoid (first best source being carrots) called Alpha-carotene which makes pumpkins the best anti-cancer foods! 7

4. Pumpkins Are Excellent For Improving Eye Health

Pumpkins Are Excellent For Improving Eye Health

Pumpkins – The Best Source Of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the most crucial vitamin that one gets reminded of when we speak about eye health and pumpkins are a fantastic source {just one cup (245 grams)} providing more than 100% RDA.

It is the beta carotene in pumpkins that gets converted to vitamin A (Retinol).8

So, if you are very much concerned about your vision and other common age-related eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts, remember that pumpkins are all that you need!

In fact, all carotenoid-rich vegetables in general (like spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupes and kale) play a vital role in the maintenance of good eye health!

Pumpkins Also Own Lutein & Zeaxanthin!

Pumpkins apart from being the richest source of vitamin A, are enriched with two major antioxidants – Lutein and Zeaxanthin that are especially considered beneficial for preventing the most common eye disorders that attack us with the onset of age. 9

5. How Pumpkin Benefits Diabetics?

How Pumpkin Benefits Diabetics

Diabetics have to necessarily keep a check on their diet because some foods have a high glycemic index which causes a sudden spike in the blood glucose levels.

Pumpkins have a high glycemic index. They carry a GI of 75 which is not really an advantage for diabetics!

It is also important for diabetics to ignore easily digestible carbohydrate foods like white bread or pasta since these can get easily digested, thereby resulting a sudden release of glucose into the blood.

Choose Pumpkin Seeds Instead Of Pumpkins!

Having said that, pumpkins are not completely disappointing for diabetics! One can choose to consume pumpkin seeds instead of the fruit. This is because of the low glycemic index of pumpkin seeds which is just 10.

Pumpkins Can Also Help Diabetics!

Pumpkins contain certain compounds called trigonelline and nicotinic acid which can improve the insulin resistance! 14

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells don’t respond to the action of insulin hormone.

Pumpkins Are High In Fiber

Diabetics are more likely to develop obesity! One smart trick diabetics can follow to prevent the risk is to consume foods rich in nutrients and fibres which can help in keeping the stomach full and also simultaneously keep the body enriched with the required energy!

Dietary fibres in pumpkin fulfil 11% RDA which can help in suppressing the hunger levels and assist in smooth and healthy digestion.

6. Relish More Pumpkins To Boost Your Immunity!

Relish More Pumpkins To Boost Your Immunity

Immunity declines as we age and this increases our susceptibility to infections and diseases!

Immune Boosting Nutrients In A Pumpkin!

But, feeding our immune system with certain nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Iron may keep us away from the diseases since it is the deficiency of these nutrients that might cause immunological disturbances. 15

Pumpkins are a good source of almost all these nutrients which makes it one of the important inclusions into your regular diet.

Major Antioxidants That Boost Immunity!

Also, pumpkins are a rich source of antioxidants which can keep your cells healthy and devoid of free radical damage.

The major antioxidants present in pumpkins include lutein, Zeaxanthin, beta carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

7. Does Eating Pumpkin Improve Your Skin Health?

Does Eating Pumpkin Improve Your Skin Health

Ageing Is Inevitable But Pumpkin Benefits Skin

We wish we could appear younger and evergreen as days pass by, but the worst part of ageing is that our skin loses the shimmer and we cannot, of course, stop wrinkles from appearing!

Good news is that we can choose certain foods with the right nutrients that can slow down the ageing process and thus it is possible for us to maintain flawless skin texture and prevent the formation of wrinkles anytime soon.

The Magical Property Of Antioxidants In Protecting Skin!

Pumpkin is one such food that is rich in antioxidants, the most powerful antioxidant being beta carotene. Antioxidants can diminish the activity of free radicals that keep on damaging the healthy cells as one age! 3

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are other antioxidants present in pumpkin apart from beta carotene.

Fatty Acids Can Prevent Skin Disorders

Pumpkins are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Linoleic acid is one type of omega -3 fat, the intake of which is known to reduce the risk of senile dryness and skin atrophy.

Senile dryness or Xerosis commonly occurs as a result of ageing since our skin loses the moisture content as we age. 4

Vitamin C Boosts Collagen

Collagen is a kind of protein that our body needs for the maintenance of perfect skin texture and for increasing the strength of bones.

The more is the production of collagen, more is the elasticity of our skin which ultimately prevents the wrinkle formation.

Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin C {one cup (245 grams)} providing 19% RDA which helps in retaining a smooth and soft skin texture! 5

To put everything in simple terms, Pumpkin benefits skin because of its antioxidant properties, its collagen-boosting properties and the presence of healthy fats in it!

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Pumpkin Nutrition Facts – Why Is Pumpkin A Superfood?

Pumpkin Vitamins

There are 10 vitamins in pumpkins which when paired with other fruits and veggies on a regular basis can keep you away from several vitamin deficiencies!

Pumpkins are the richest source of vitamin A (more than 100% RDA), riboflavin (11% RDA) and Vitamin C and Vitamin E contributing to 19% and 10% RDA respectively!

Other vitamins that contribute to around 5% RDA include thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin K (2% RDA) and Vitamin B6.

Minerals In Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a good source of potassium (16% RDA). Copper and manganese fulfil 11% RDA. Other important minerals in pumpkin include zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, Iron, selenium and calcium.

You can refer the below-mentioned table to know the exact quantities of each nutrient present in pumpkin and the exact percentage of daily recommended value they provide.

How Many Calories Are Present In A Pumpkin?

Total pumpkin calories in 100 grams of the vegetable account to as less as 20. This means that a cup of cooked and boiled pumpkin (245 grams) contain only 49 calories.

You can consume pumpkin for weight loss not only because of its low-calorie content but also rich dietary fibres and great water content (93%).

Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibers

Carbohydrates account to 12 grams for 1 cup (245 grams) with 4% RDA and dietary fibres account to 2.7 grams for the same quantity with 11% RDA.

Total Fats And Proteins

Total fats are as less as 0.2 grams in 245 grams with omega-3 fats (4.9 mg) and omega-6 fats (4.9 mg).

Proteins make up to 1.8 grams for the same quantity which helps you meet 4% RDA.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts – Detailed Chart!

One cup of cooked, boiled and mashed pumpkin which is around 245 grams contains the following nutrients.

Vitamins Grams %DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)
Vitamin A 12231 IU 245%
Vitamin C11.5 mg 19%
Vitamin E 2.0 mg 10%
Vitamin K 2.0 mcg 2%
Thiamin 0.1 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.2 mg11%
Niacin 1.0 mg 5%
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 5%
Folate 22.0 mcg 6%
Pantothenic acid0.5 mg 5%
Choline 15.2 mg
Minerals Grams %DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)
Calcium 36.7 mg 4%
Iron 1.4 mg 8%
Magnesium 22.0 mg 6%
Phosphorous 73.5 mg 7%
Potassium 564 mg 16%
Zinc 0.6 mg 4%
Copper 0.2 mg 11%
Manganese 0.2 mg 11%
Selenium 0.5 mcg 1%
Other elementsGrams %DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)
Carbohyrdates 12 grams 4%
Proteins 1.8 grams 4%
Fats 0.2 grams 0%

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Is Pumpkin Healthy? – Are There Any Side Effects Of Pumpkin?

Pumpkins are totally safe to eat as long as you do not exceed the levels of moderation. Excessive consumption of pumpkins may cause bloating, indigestion and accumulation of intestinal gas!

People who are on lithium medication may have to avoid the consumption of pumpkins or consult a doctor since pumpkins are diuretics and may interfere with the medication.

Diabetics may benefit from pumpkins due to the presence of dietary fibers but a regular consumption may take a negative toll on the health since pumpkins have a high glycemic index.

Ensure that you consume cooked or boiled pumpkins rather than relying on pumpkin pies that are loaded with added sugars.

If you have developed any kind of allergy, soon after the consumption of pumpkin, you may have to consult your doctor for a much better understanding of your health and allergic reactions!

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Bottom Line!

Health benefits of pumpkins are numerous! Pumpkins can prevent obesity and help in weight loss if consumed regularly. The presence of antioxidants in pumpkins makes them the best anti-cancer foods.

A diet that is often included with pumpkins can prevent many age-related eye disorders, protect your heart health and enhance your overall skin health because of its ability to boost collagen, and because of the presence of healthy fats along with some antioxidants.

Diabetics can consume pumpkins but only in moderation so as to avoid abnormal blood glucose spikes! The rich nutrients in pumpkin and its antioxidant properties can boost your immune system, keeping you strong and robust for your entire life!

There you go! The next time someone talks about Halloween and thanksgiving as soon as they hear pumpkin, you altogether have a different story to tell!