Here is an article I read about the Pumpkin that I thought was interesting.
The pumpkin might be supernatural, seeing is believingPosted October 7, 2012 by rawfoodhealth in The Raw Science
In folklore and fiction, the delicious pumpkin is often connected to the supernatural in some way. A widespread motif has witches turning people into pumpkins, or pumpkins into carriages. While most people use pumpkins to make Halloween decorations or prepare the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, few realize that the fleshy fruit is filled to the brim with disease-fighting nutrients. Pumpkin is a very versatile food item, and it can be prepared in multitude of ways, and it can safely be consumed raw. Almost all parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the seeds, the shell, the leaves and even its flowers.
High carotenoid contentThe bright orange color of pumpkins is a direct result of their high alpha and beta carotene content. Beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, a crucial substance that is needed by the retina of the eye to form a special light-absorbing molecule called retinal. This molecule is required for proper low light and colored vision.
Pumpkin is also rich in lutein, a carotenoid that can only be synthesized by plants. It has been established that lutein is vital to human vision. Recent scientific hypotheses state that lutein acts as an antioxidant that protects the eyes from oxidative stress, while facilitating blue light absorption. It also plays an important role in a phenomenon known as “Haidinger’s brush”, which refers to the human eye’s ability to detect polarized light.
Alpha and beta carotene fight the damaging effects of free radicals, and can help prevent premature aging, heart conditions and nerve damage. Pumpkin is rich in cholesterol-lowering fiber, as well as vitamin E, for healthier skin, and vitamin C, for better immunity. But the physical health benefits of pumpkin consumption are not the only good news. A 2010 study established that the scent of pumpkin is an aphrodisiac, while the high zinc content of pumpkin seeds can help elevate testosterone levels in men.
Pumpkin works well with anything!Pumpkin is an important part of the autumn harvest and a staple in traditional American cuisine. The easiest way to use it is to mash it and add it to soups, sauces, pies, beverages, specialties and deserts. Home-made pumpkin puree takes about 20 minutes to make and unlike the canned variety, it is 100% raw, fresh and bursting with vitamins. To prepare raw pumpkin puree, you will only need a medium sized pumpkin and an apple. Simply cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, core the apple, cut both fruits into small pieces and blend them until you obtain a smooth puree!
What’s more is that there are only about 80 calories in a cup of pumpkin puree, making it one of the healthiest treats you can make at home. Being a natural diuretic, pumpkin can help flush out toxins from the body, stimulate the kidneys and even help fight infections caused by parasites. One study coming from China revealed that regular pumpkin consumption can help repair damaged pancreatic cells and boost insulin levels for people suffering from diabetes. With such a wide range of benefits, pumpkin truly is one of the most underrated superfoods out there.