You must have seen rows upon rows of the ghoulish pumpkins across your neighborhood during Halloween. Or you may have spent hours carving your salads that captivate everybody’s attention on an occasion. No matter what, your Halloween and other events are incomplete without pumpkins.
Have you ever wondered, are pumpkins a fruit or vegetable? We bet you must have. Does it have seeds? Does it grow on trees or on the ground? Is it good to put in a tart or in a pie? Even though we may know the science behind what makes a vegetable or a fruit (A fruit comes out from the flower of a plant containing seeds while other parts are considered to be vegetables) – the discussion always comes to light every time we see a pumpkin.
Some of us may have no concern whether it’s a fruit or vegetable.
Spoiler Alert – You think that Pumpkin is a vegetable – It is not.
What are Pumpkins?
Pumpkins, gourds, and squash come from the same family ‘Cucurbitaceae’. This plant family is considered to be the greatest family of plants, because it consists of more than 900 different species, including cucumbers, watermelons, and orange pumpkins.
In the United States, many of the orange squashes are called pumpkins. Similarly, ‘gourd’ is the name used for plants in the genus Cucurbita (squash), so technically pumpkin is a gourd.
What Nutritious Value does Pumpkin offer?
A pumpkin is rich in vitamin C, dietary fibers, and vitamin A. A cup of mashed pumpkin pulp contains 2.7 grams of dietary fibers and 49 calories. The same quantity of pumpkin pulp is responsible to satiate your daily needs of nutrients with 245% vitamin A, 16% potassium, 11% magnesium, and 19% vitamin C.
You can also use pumpkin seeds to your advantage. They taste delicious when roasted and tossed with salt. A half cup serving of seeds provides you with 4g of fiber and 17g of proteins.
How is Pumpkin Beneficial to Health?
While a pumpkin décor at a festival captures your attention, you may not know that it has many other health benefits.
A pumpkin is a low-calorie fruit that is rich in amino acids, like ‘L-tryptophan’. It helps your body to produce Serotonin (a chemical that triggers mood swings and makes us feel happy).
Also, pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols – a chemical that helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels in our body.
A pumpkin is a great source of potassium that aids in restoring the electrolyte balance of our body. The fibers and vitamin C that we get from a pumpkin nourishes our immune system.
It’s time to add pumpkin to your diet. And we believe you would love to have a Pumpkin brownie or a Spice latte.
Adding All the Favors of Pumpkin to your Diet
From pumpkin smoothies and coffee to granola pumpkin bars, everybody seems to be obsessed with pumpkin.
But you don’t need to go after high calories as the pumpkin itself is full of nutrients. You can use a pumpkin in a variety of dishes.
- If you want to have a Mac n Cheese burger, you can replace cheese with the pumpkin puree to give it a different taste
- You can add pumpkin pulp instead of mashed potatoes in your dishes
- You can use roasted pumpkin seeds in a mixed-nut snack to make a healthy dish
- You can use pumpkin seed powder, instead of breadcrumbs to make your food more delicious and healthier. Remember, a pumpkin comes packed with zinc, magnesium, and fibers
- Spice up your pasta sauce with diced and cooked pumpkin
- When baking your sub, replace oil with pumpkin puree. It adds up a flavor to your diet
- To make a fish dip sauce, use pumpkin seeds to double up protein intake.
- Stir cheese and pumpkin puree together like a pancake to have a creamy snack.
If you are health conscious, and are following a diet plan, it’s important to go natural.