The pumpkin belongs to Cucurbita family like cucumbers, squash, etc. They are often used in traditional meals as well as in decoration.
Pumpkin pies are traditionally made during the Thanksgiving meals in the United States. Druring halloween, the pumpkin is hollowed out a face is carved. When this is done, the pumpkins are commonly known as Jack 0'lanterns.
The humble pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, C and E. These powerful vitamins are also powerful antioxidants and are important for building and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Pumpkin is a storehouse for flavonoids such as zeaxanthin. This is a natural antioxidant which has UV rays filtering actions in the retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from age-related macular disease (ARMD).
The B complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid are found in pumpkins in great supply. It is also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health benefiting vitamins. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain which is an important neurotransmitter in sleep.
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