The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, was found in Mexico. Back home, your health guru never celebrated the Halloween. In the 90’s Russia then we could only learn about this festivity from a wave of Hollywood films. I remember eating lots of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) as they are - in their raw form.
So, why this superfood must be consumed beyond the month of October? Can it boost our health? Absolutely!
Here’re 6 reasons why pumpkin is your next best friend :
1. Protect Your Package and Increase Libido.
The pumpkin seeds and pumpkins themselves are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that have cancer protective properties. The seeds could particularly boost male sexual drive. Taiwanese researchers found pumpkin seed oil prevented unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. 100 ml cup of the seeds are estimated to contain about 2.75 mg of zinc or 17 percent of the RDI for adults, which fosters sexual health for men. A research conducted over 20 weeks in Wayne State University study showed young men had significantly reduced levels of testosterone after restricting their dietary zinc intake.
2. Feel Comfortably Full
Fiber occurring in pumpkin flesh helps keep you fuller longer, which keeps your appetite at bay and you eat less as a result.
3. Boost Vision, Healthy Skin & Teeth
Boil the pumpkin and have a cup full of it to give you twice the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. This vitamin promotes good vision, particularly in the dim light, according to National Institute of Health. Pumpkin has proven to slow the decline of retinal function, especially for those with retinis pigments - a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, a Harvard research concludes.As an added bonus Vitamin A helps with producing and maintenance of healthy skin, teeth and bones.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
Pepita seed oil is packed with phytoestrogens, which according to the research are beneficial for preventing hypertension. After several trials conducted with rats being dieting with the oil as the supplement, the research results revealed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was lowered in just 12 weeks.
5. Improve Sleep
Rich in tryptophan, the amino acid contributing to sleepiness, pumpkin seeds are guaranteed to put you to sleep after dinner. This element also induces serotonin production, the feel-good neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and helps to unwind. Apart from giving you sweet dreams, the serotonin will improve your mood.
6. Have a Healthier Heart
Your life pump can also benefit from that fiber contained in pumpkin flesh. A Harvard study found that over 40,000 male health professionals who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber.
A recent study by the Swedes found that women who were on a diet high in fiber had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with those who were on a lower fiber diet.
While there’s a massive array of fancy pumpkin desserts, pumpkin smoothies and of course the pumpkin pie, now I am going to share with you this tummy comforting curry pumpkin and dal soup. Enjoy!
PS : After making the soup for the first time, I could feel that his soup is proven to be a cost saver, and can be stored in the fridge and consumed over 5-6 days.
Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Stir in curry powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Cook dark lentils, boil and simmer over low heat for 20-30 mins.
Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of natural coconut yogurt if desired.