Pumpkin: Types, Benefits And Properties

What possibly for many represents a decorative element of Halloween night for others is an excellent and rich source of vitamins and minerals that provide our diet with a set of important and valuable benefits for our health. Yes, squash, squash or pumpkin (whatever you know it) is more than a decorative Halloween accessory, it is a healthy and quite delicious food.

But… how much do we know about pumpkin and what can you say about its flavor? For some people it may come as a surprise, but regular consumption of pumpkin can greatly improve your health.

The pumpkin, scientific name and characteristics

The pumpkin is the result of the sprouting of a creeping plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae group. The scientific name assigned to it is Cucurbita maximum and it belongs to the same family as zucchini, watermelon, cucumber and melon.

It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that, in addition to providing our diet with excellent nutritional values, is also synonymous with health, since it has properties and benefits that contribute to people’s well-being and quality of life.

Little taken into account, but with value and flavor that exceeds any type of expectation.

What other names does the pumpkin receive?

Depending on the area or country you are in, you can know it as squash, squash, zucchini or pumpkin.
Generally, in the north of the American continent and a good part of Europe it is known as pumpkin, while in most of the countries of South America it is called pumpkin.

In Venezuela, Panama and in some areas of Central America it is called auyama or uyama.

Where does it come from

Records have been found in both the American and Asian continents, dating back to 5000 BC, of ​​the use and consumption of pumpkins. When I speak of uses, I mean that they were used as vessels and musical instruments made from the bark of the pumpkin.

With which; To affirm that the pumpkin is native to a specific place would be to dismiss data from other areas of the world. The pumpkin is ours and that is the important thing.

In what season is it harvested?

It will depend a lot on the area in which it is sown, in countries with seasonal climates the squash is always first and then harvested in summer . However, in regions where there is sun most of the year the pumpkin is always and harvested all the time.

That is, it lends itself to continuous planting and harvesting of pumpkin during 365 days a year.

That is, the way they develop is from the male flower that grows to pollinate the female flower, which is the one that will carry the pumpkin on its stem that will form over the weeks.

The pumpkin, as we see it in the store when buying it takes up to two months to complete its development.

What are its common uses and what is it good for?

The pumpkin has different types of uses at the gastronomic, medicinal and artisanal levels , and has even been used for religious rituals.

It has a great variety that allows it to be used for different types of preparations and recipes. Likewise, this variety is characterized by its flavor and appearance, with which some are used for making desserts and others for savory preparations. It is rich in fiber and its nutritional value makes it an ideal ingredient for successful recipes.

From a medicinal point of view, squash or pumpkin has a fairly wide use. It can be used from the leaf to the pulp and seeds . Each of these with a particular objective. That is, we can use the seeds, pulps and leaves to treat certain pathologies, each one according to the ingredient we use.

In this same publication we will explain in more detail the therapeutic applications of pumpkin so that you can make use of it when the situation warrants it.

How to include squash in our diet?

As we have mentioned, the variety or types of pumpkins that exist today allow us to take it into account for certain recipes. Generally people prefer to include it in their diet in the form of creams or through desserts, since some of them have a slightly sweet taste that is perfect for pastry.

Other reasons to take into account and the one that is most important is its nutritional contribution . Pumpkin has quite high nutritional values ​​that can meet a large part of people’s daily nutritional demand.

Its important content in fiber, carbohydrates and vegetable protein make pumpkin an ideal food to regain energy and maintain a healthy life, as long as it is accompanied by other foods in a balanced way.

Nutritional value of pumpkin

The nutritional composition of the pumpkin provides us with excellent values ​​to cover our daily nutritional needs. In the following table you can verify what a portion of this food is capable of providing us.

Composition

Quantity (gr)

CDR (%)

K calories

28.37

1.5%

Carbohydrates

4.59

1.5%

Protein

1.13

2.4%

Fiber

2.16

7.2%

Fats

0.13

0.2%

Vitamins and minerals present in squash

The vitamins and minerals present in squash are described in the following table. In it you can see everything that a portion of 100 grams of pumpkin gives us.

Vitamins

Amount (mg)

CDR (%)

Vitamin A

0.13

14.2%

Vitamin B1

0.05

4.2%

Vitamin B2

0.07

5.4%

Vitamin B3

0.35

0%

Vitamin B12

0

0%

C vitamin

12

13.3%

The same applies to the minerals present in 100 grams of pumpkin.

Vitamins

Amount (mg)

CDR (%)

Vitamin A

0.13

14.2%

Vitamin B1

0.05

4.2%

Vitamin B2

0.07

5.4%

Vitamin B3

0.35

0%

Vitamin B12

0

0%

C vitamin

12

13.3%

Through the tables presented you can see why the emphasis is placed on the consumption of pumpkin. It turns out that it is one of the foods with the highest nutritional index, low cost and easy to grow. From which you can acquire many benefits from the leaf to the seeds.

Types of pumpkin

In the world there are several types of pumpkin, depending on the region and the climate in which they are harvested, they can be of one type or another. In this publication I do not intend to list them all but at least I will mention the most popular ones.

Angel hair pumpkin

A It is a type of pumpkin with a fibrous pulp ideal for the preparation of desserts. It receives the name of angel hair since its interior is covered by small strands that make up the pulp.

Pumpkin or peanut squash

It has an outer appearance of orange color, with a hard rind. Its pulp is quite fleshy and of an intense color.

Hat pumpkins

Known thus mainly for their appearance. Its pulp is not used and serves only decorative purposes.

Giants halloween

The typical pumpkin that we have already seen in Halloween decorations

Halloween minis

Same as the previous one but with a rather reduced appearance. It is only used for decorative purposes.

Duckbill Pumpkins

Pumpkins that simulate the shape of a duck with their appearance. Its pulp is edible.

As we have said, there are many in the world and its shape, taste and appearance is due to the region where it is grown.

Differences between the different types of squash

The most notable differences can be found in its appearance and flavor, since generally its properties remain intact, except in some specific cases where the way in which it is grown intervenes with the natural process of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable

To begin, let’s define what a fruit is and why it is considered as such, fruits are the ovaries that contain the seeds that will give other trees or plants that will in turn give another fruit.
In other words, the fruit itself must contain the seed that will serve to reproduce a new fruit. In that sense we can affirm that the pumpkin is a fruit, like the tomato, the avocado, the banana and others.

Properties and benefits of pumpkin for health

It would take time to be able to describe the multiple benefits and properties that can be obtained from consuming pumpkin.
These range from taking care of our hair and eyesight to improving our concentration. It even plays an ideal role in skin care. Here are some of them.

It is a rich source of fiber

The pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber , in the table that we have put at the beginning of the publication we comment that for every one hundred grams of pumpkin consumed we obtain 2.16 grams of fiber.
Incorporating fiber into our diet can help us feel fuller for longer, thereby reducing the anxiety that motivates eating out of control. Other benefits of fiber include:

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Helps digestion
  • Fight constipation
  • Improve gut health
  • Strengthening the immune system

Improves memory function and concentration

Pumpkin is an excellent source of lutein , recognized for its role in eye health. Lutein can also improve cognitive function, including learning, memory, concentration, and focus.

Lutein and another carotenoid called zeaxanthin; present in squash may help improve visual processing speed, according to a study in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics journal.

Activates and improves the functions of our immunity system

Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and zinc , all of which are antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant plant pigment that gives pumpkin its bright orange color.

Optimize our eye health

Thanks to the beta-carotene and the carotenoids it contains, pumpkin can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related eye degeneration and cataracts.

Contains heart-healthy nutrients

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of phytoestrogens, plant-derived compounds that when incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle have been shown to control cholesterol and improve heart health.

Helps sleep and mood

Pumpkin seeds in particular are an excellent source of tryptophan , an essential amino acid that is converted to serotonin, a chemical associated with healthy, enjoyable sleep. Because the body cannot make tryptophan on its own, pumpkin seeds are an easy and versatile way to add it to your diet.

They are many and they are good, the nutritional and medicinal benefits of pumpkin are the perfect excuse to never remove it from our diet. It is possible that by consuming squash you are acquiring the strength and vitality that your body needs. Did you know that pumpkin has a positive effect on our sexual health , motivating drive and desire, in addition to strength and strength? Dare to include it in your diet and you will notice it.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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