Pumpkin (Cucurbita) Health Benefits

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Health Benefits of Pumpkin

It contains several phytoconstituents belonging to the categories of alkaloids, flavonoids, and palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids. Various important medicinal properties including anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and others have been well documented. (1)

Blood Sugar

Studies have demonstrated that pumpkin has a hypoglycemic activity like a standard drug in healthy animals with temporary hyperglycemia and in mild diabetic animals but not in severe diabetic animals. They suggested that these effects might be due to either increased pancreatic insulin secretion from the existing b-cells or insulin release from the bound form. D-chiro-Inositol was identified in Pumpkin (especially in Cucurbita ficifolia) and this compound has been considered as an insulin action mediator (insulin sensitizer) (1)

Blood Pressure

Pumpkin also has hypotensive effects in terms of angiotensin I-converting enzyme-inhibitory activities. (1)

Antioxidant

Oxidative stress has been considered as a hallmark of various chronic diseases and their complications such as diabetes, obesity, CVD, and cancer. Various extracts of Pumpkin have a potential antioxidant activity which might play an important role in pre-diabetics, diabetics, and individuals with vascular injury.

The hypoglycemic action of pumpkin (fruit) extract has been demonstrated as well as its role as an antioxidant revealing a mechanism for its cytoprotective (cell-protecting) action. (1)

Anti-Cancer

The carotenoids from Pumpkin fruits have been linked to the prevention of prostate cancer. It was reported that Pumpkin fruit extracts markedly reduced tumor weight in mice. (1)

Anti-Microbial

Various broadspectrum anti-microbial components have been isolated from Pumpkins. Pumpkin oil inhibits Acinetobacter baumanii, Aeromonas veronii biogroup sobria, Candida albicans, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype typhimurium, Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus. (1)

Carotene

Many more health benefits can be deduced from pumpkin due to its extremely high level of carotene. In fact, one cup (245 grams) of cooked pumpkin packs 245% of the RDI for vitamin A. (2)

See more about the health benefits of Carotene in the chart below. (3)

carotene

Conclusion

It would appear that pumpkin is a valuable food that has multiple therapeutic benefits. Used in place of simple starches or other processed carbohydrates it could make a healthy alternative.

A simply steamed Pumpkin would be the best but lightly roasted is possibly the most delicious. Pumpkin is my very best friend when doing the Herbal Detox program because it is so versatile and yet so incredibly healing.

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