We bought a pumpkin today with very nice yellow flesh (meat). This type of pumpkin is known as the Japanese pumpkin.The pumpkin, which is a member of the Squash family, is actually a fruit that is treated as a vegetable. It can be prepared in many different ways – boiled, steamed, roasted, stir-fried etc. Pumpkins are used in pies, ice creams, drinks and soups; you can find a host of pumpkin recipes on the Internet.
In Jamaica, when we describe a woman as having a “pumpkin belly”, we are telling others that she is pregnant. This phrase is used since, like pregnancy, it takes approx. nine months for a pumpkin farmer to reap a crop of pumpkins.
Pumpkins are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber; they contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C, and are a rich source of minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Pumpkins are also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin.
All parts of the pumpkin may be eaten; the flower can be stuffed and fried, or eaten raw in salads. The leaves, which are rich in calcium, are used in stir frying and they too may also be eaten raw.Pumpkin seeds can be roasted or eaten raw; they are an excellent source of zinc, dietary fiber, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health. The seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to gamma – aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a chemical that is produced in the human brain.
I read that the supplement GABA is given to patients for relieving anxiety, improving mood, reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used for promoting lean muscle growth, burning fat, stabilizing blood pressure, and relieving pain.
From now on, I don’t think I’ll be throwing away any more pumpkin seeds. Read more about pumpkins seeds from this information found on the world’s healthiest foods website.