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Pumpkin

Hit that pumpkin patch to boost your vitamin and mineral intake

Monday, February 07, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: pumpkin, minerals, health news

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(NewsTarget) Pumpkin is one food that dieters definitely do not have to feel guilty about consuming. It is one of the most nutrient-rich foods around. Not only does the inside offer great health benefits, but so do the seeds. Characteristics range from low calories to a high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content; you definitely cannot go wrong with this yummy food.

Pumpkin is high in beta-carotenes, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body, and is responsible for its lovely orange colour. These help to repair damage done by free radicals in the body and also assist with repairing and building the immune system.

A study in Hungary showed that giving pumpkin seed oil extract to men with a benign enlarged prostate helped to strengthen their flow of urine, and it also helped to reduce the frequency of night time urination.

Pumpkin contains high doses of Vitamins C and E, pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), magnesium, potassium and both alpha-and beta-carotene. The beta carotene is able to help reverse sun related skin damage and also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Magnesium helps to normalise the heart functions and to build a healthy immune system. It also helps with building bone strength. Vitamin B5 helps the body to cope with stress and can balance hormone levels. This fruit also packs quite a punch in the fibre department, offering an average of 5 grams per cup. Another lesser-known carotenoid found in pumpkin is beta-cryptoxanthin, which is thought to help decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Pumpkin juice has been known to be used for treating insomnia, high acidity levels in the body and ulcers. It needs to be consumed 3 times a day about a half hour before meals. It can also be used in the treatment of vascular diseases and cancer.

Pumpkin is also very useful in the treatment of burns and abscesses, as it softens the skin. Mashed pumpkin is useful in treating painful insect bites and stings. Many anti-wrinkle creams and hydrating creams contain pumpkin.

The seeds are especially useful in the treatment of intestinal parasites or worms. They contain Vitamin E, zinc, iron, potassium, omega-3 -and-omega-6 fatty acids and magnesium. These can be consumed as a very healthy snack and also added to salads or other vegetable dishes.

Sources:

http://www.suite101.com/content/health-benef...
http://www.liveandfeel.com/medicinalplants/p...
http://home.howstuffworks.com/pumpkins3.htm
http://healthmad.com/addiction/the-many-heal...



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here


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