Pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae which is incredibly rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. This humble backyard vegetable is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A .
Although pumpkins, in general, feature orange or yellow color, some fruits are dark to pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray. Rind is smooth and usually lightly ribbed. Color of pumpkins is due to yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp.
Advantages of Pumpkin
1 It has low calories and contains no fat or cholesterol. However it’s rich in minerals and anti-oxidants and vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
2 it is one of the vegetable with highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision and it’s good for protecting body against lung and oral cavity cancers.
3 It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compoundes like alpha and beta carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
4 Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions and helps protect from "age related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.
5 Rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
6 It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
7 Pumpkin seeds are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health.
If you like pumpkin, You sure would like to know how to make a delicious dessert with it. Here’s a Great Pumpkin Dessert’s recipe :
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice. Mix well, and pour into a 9x13 inch pan.
3. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top, then drizzle with melted butter. Top with walnuts.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.