Pumpkin is one of the oldest domesticated plants of human civilization. In Hindi, it is known as Kaddu or Kashiphal. Now the question comes that “is pumpkin a fruit or vegetable?” Botanically, pumpkin is a fruit because it contains seeds. But its nutritional values are similar to a vegetable; So Mostly, it is considered a vegetable.
Many people don’t like to eat kaddu. But do you know it is very nutritious and healthy. Here we are providing the nutritional facts and health benefits of it so that you can motivate yourself to include it in your diet.
Pumpkin nutrition facts:
Nutritional value of pumpkin is very high. It is full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, but less in calories, fat and sugar. Here are key facts about it:
- Calories in pumpkin– 100 gm of kaddu provide 26 Kcal.
- Kaddu is very less in carbohydrate and fat. 100 gm of it provides only 6.5 gm of carbohydrate and 0.1 gm of fat.
- It is also rich in dietary fibre.
- Kaddu is a rich source of vitamins. Also,It contains rich amount of beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. It also provides rich amount of other vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 (which is folate).
- 100 gm of kaddu provides 11% of daily requirement of Vitamin C.
- Kaddu also contain good amount of minerals.
- It has 92% of water.
- Pumpkin seed– Pumpkin seeds are extremely beneficial for various health conditions. Those are used in Indian system of medicines from thousands of years. Seeds provide vast range of minerals, vitamins. Moreover, It also has good amount of amino acid tryptophan, which converts itself into GABA in brain.
Health benefits of pumpkin:
1. Treatment of chronic disease:
Our body produces free radicals in constant manner. These are important for making the defense system of body. But excessive accumulation of these free radicals is known as oxidative stress, which is a harmful condition. These free radicals mostly leads to chronic illness. Kaddu contains very rich amount of antioxidants like alpha carotene, beta-carotene and beta kryptoxanthin. These anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
2. Immunity booster:
Pumpkin is a good immunity booster. Beta carotene, which turns itself into vitamin A, is a great for boosting immunity. There are several researches which suggest that lack of vitamin A results in weak immunity. Apart from vitamin A, it also provide good amount of Vitamin C and E, which are required for immune response.
3. Protect eyesight:
Pumpkin is full of nutrients which strengthen eyesight. Beta carotene of it provides sufficient Vitamin A. Lack of it, is an important cause of blindness worldwide. There are various clinical trials which suggest that people with higher intake of beta carotene have significantly fewer chances of blindness and cataract. Other than vitamin A, kaddu also has good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. Deficiency of these two is linked with age related macular degeneration and cataract formation.
4. Pumpkin for weight management:
Kaddu is ideal food for weight loss diet as it is high in nutrients but low in calories. Also, it has good amount of dietary fibers, which gives a feeling of fullness.
5. To fight against cancer:
Cancerous cells produce more free radicals compared to healthy cells. Carotenoid, which is a potent anti-oxidant in pumpkin, helps to neutralize free radicals, thus helps to prevent cancer. Kaddu is also good option for a person who is going on chemotherapy. In various studies, it is found that high intake of oxidative substance like beta carotene and alpha carotene helps to reduce risk of stomach cancer, throat and breast cancer. But still there is no conclusive data about how and how much amount of it lowers the chances of various cancers. But what so ever kaddu is advisable to have a healthy body.
6. Worm infection of intestine:
Kaddu is potent inhibitor of worms in intestine especially it shows anti-helminthic properties. For killing worm or helminth, Pumpkin seed and oil of pumpkin seed is more useful. However, there is no clear research which shows that substance of kaddu interferes with worm growth in intestine.
7. To have healthy heart:
Pumpkin is rich in dietary fibre and very low in calories which interfere with oxidization of bad cholesterol. Oxidation of bad cholesterol is responsible for narrowing of blood vessel and cardiac stroke. Also, it is high in potassium which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
8. Pumpkin for insomnia:
Tryptophan found in kaddu, helps in formation of serotonin which induces calmness and drowsiness. Eating it in night helps to sleep better. Moreover, it also reduces anxiety.
Who should eat pumpkin?
Kaddu is safe and healthy for almost every one. Rarely, some people may be allergic to it. Pumpkin also has diuretic properties, so it may interfere with some medication.
1. Pumpkin for babies:
Pumpkin is ideal food for babies. Rich fibre, anti-oxidant and nutrition of it, help babies to grow faster. It helps to make a good immune system as it is rich in Vitamin A and C.
Also, Babies are prone to worm infection. But its anti-helminthic properties help to kill worms in intestine. Thus, it also provide protection from diarrhoea and other worms symptoms.
2. Pumpkin for dogs:
Kaddu is miracles food for dog due to rich anti oxidants and nutritional vlue. It is good in diarrhoea and constipation both. Raw and boiled both type of pumpkin is safe for them. But quantity should be less as high fibre is not suitable for their intestine. 50 gm of kaddu in a day is good for big dog. For small puppies dose should be minimum.
Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. For any query or personal consultation according to your health condition Please Contact Us.