Food properties of pumpkin

Edible properties of pumpkin


Pumpkins, very healthy food for the prostate, the eyes and the heart


Some pieces of pumpkin, showing the yellow colour of carotenoids

Pumpkins are antioxidant food par excellence. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, and its pernicious influence on human health that can be able to produce numerous diseases by cell degeneration.

Among the antioxidant elements the pumpkin, we can mention the following:

Pumpkins, very rich in carotene

Pumpkin is rich in vitamin carotene, found in more or less yellow coloring of its pulp. Among all the pumpkins, gourd is the richest in this component, since 100 gr provide 2620 mcg of beta carotene.

Zucchini squash provides 610, whereas the common pumpkin offers 450. The spaghetti squash would be the poorest since they only provide 30. The gourd is also very rich in alpha-carotene (2010 mcg per 100 gr.).

Acorn squashes are rich in another carotene, cryptoxanthin. Carotenoids are converted into vitamin A in our body.

Pumkin for your sight health

No less important are the carotenoids for eye health. A higher intake of this component will help prevent eye diseases and the development of cataracts or vision loss from degeneration of the retina. Eating pumpkin is a good resource to prevent the negative action of free radicals on the cells of the retina.

People who force their view on their normal work, as students, people working at a computer, office workers, painters, etc. should use this food very often.

It has also been proven the importance of carotenoids in the prevention of other degenerative diseases such as deafness. Eating pumpkin provides vitamin A carotenes as sufficient in all those who suffer from hearing loss.

Other antioxidants of pumpkin

Besides carotenes, pumpkin is very rich in other antioxidants:

  • Coumarins: Pumpkins are rich in coumarin. Coumarins also have antioxidant properties. They can neutralize free radicals. It was found that, among all the pumpkins, gourds have a higher percentage of this component.
  • Lycopene: This is another antioxidant component that can be found in the pulp of the pumpkin. Lycopene appears to reduce the development of prostate, lung, stomach, bladder, lung, stomach and cervix cancers. It also has properties to reduce cholesterol in the blood and to prevent the inflammations of the prostate.
  • Vitamin C: Pumpkins, especially bottle pumpkin and zucchini, contain abundant amounts of 100 vitamin C. Eating 100 gr. pumpkin day provides almost half the daily requirement of this vitamin. Vitamin C, along with carotenes (vitamin A), helps to maintain a good health of the circulatory apparatus, preventing the appearance of atherosclerosis or plaque deposits in the arteries. Vitamins A and C contribute to the prevention of oxidation cholesterol and its subsequent location in the artery walls. This improves circulation and helps prevent certain heart diseases like myocardial infarction or angina pectoris.

Pumpkin against cancer

The properties of carotenes are very wide. Among all of them, its ability to inhibit the development of cancer is the main one.

It has been shown the importance of the consumption of green leafy foods such as leeks or pumpkin in the prevention of prostate cancer or their ability to prevent prostate growing in disease called benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition which can occur in men usually after 50 years and, while not as serious as cancer., it is a very serious trouble when the urination or intercourse.

Pumpkin, rich in folic acid

Pumpkin is also rich in folic acid. This vitamin, besides taking part in the health of the nervous system, helps to protect the heart by neutralizing the elevated levels of homocysteine in the body that may be responsible for heart attacks

Pumpkin helps to eliminate fat and water of the body

Pumpkins constitute a “light” food, ideal for weight loss diets. The water content is very high and very low in calories (100 gr. Common pumpkin contain about 13 calories) acorn squash is one of the most energy (40 calories per 100 gr.). Yet, this amount is small compared with most food.

The lightness of the pumpkins, along with their high amount of potassium (especially the zucchini varieties, bottle or acorn that contain 350 mg of potassium) helps to make this food an ideal resource to remove body fluids.

Potassium promotes diuresis by increasing the amount of liquid and the frequency of urination. Regular consumption of pumpkins helps prevent fluid retention, is ideal for the treatment of obesity and constitutes an suitable way to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Pumpkin is a highly satiating food. Despite its reduced calorie intake, it slows down your hunger and eliminates the need to eat other more caloric, less desirable, food in diets.

Properties pumpkins

Main curative properties of pumpkin

Pumpkins to prevent constipation

Pumpkins contain abundant fiber. Fiber favors the expulsion of feces, reason why it prevents constipation.

Moreover fiber intake will be well suited to help remove toxins from the intestine and prevent the occurrence of many diseases. In this sense, it is believed that regular consumption of pumpkin, with its rich in fiber and antioxidants, may help reduce the number of colon cancers.

We must not forget the role that fiber exerts in controlling sugar levels in the body.

The pumpkin is rich in carbohydrates, but their high fiber content makes these are absorbed slowly, maintaining stable levels of blood sugar, so it is highly recommended for diabetes.

It has also been found as a nutrient that helps stimulate the production of pancreatic.

Pumpkins to reduce inflammations

Due to its content in carotenoids, vitamin C and copper pumpkin has anti-inflammatory properties , ideal for reducing inflammation and pain that occurs in diseases such as arthritis or asthma.

The following table shows the differences in the composition of summer squash and winter pumpkins.

Main components of pumpkin

Composition of raw pumpkin pulp per 100 gr.
NutrientsSummer squashWinter
Water94, 2 g88.72 g
Calories19 kcal37 kcal
Fat0.24 g0.23 g
Proteins0, 94 g1, 45 g
Carbohydrates4, 04 g8, 80 g
Fiber1.9 g1.5 g
Potassium212 mgs350 mgs
Phosphorus32 mgs32 mgs
iron0, 48 mgs0, 58 mgs
Sodium2 mgs4 mgs
Magnesium21 mgs21 mgs
Calcium21 mgs31 mgs
Copper0, 102 mgs0, 055 mgs
Zinc0, 29 mgs0, 13 mgs
Manganese0, 157 mcg0, 168 mcg
Vitamin C8.4 mgs12.3 mgs
Vitamin A338 UI4060 UI
B1 vitamin (Thiamin)0.052 mgs0.097 mgs
B2 vitamin (Riboflavin)0, 043 mgs0, 027 mgs
B3 vitamin (Niacin)0, 454 mgs0, 800 mgs
B6 vitamin (Pyridoxine)0, 109 mgs0, 082 mgs
Vitamin E0, 12 mgs0, 12 mgs
Folic acid23 mcg22 mcg

punto rojoMore information on pumpkin.

Related information: Recipe of baked pumpkin

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 May, 2023

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