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Properties of pumpkin: the benefits of the most popular autumn vegetable

Pumpkin seeds

Low in calories and with a sweet taste, it is the autumn vegetable par excellence: here are the properties of the pumpkin, the benefits and the main uses in cosmetics and cooking.

With its orange color and particular shape, pumpkin is a beloved vegetable, especially in the autumn season, to which it offers tasty and healthy recipes . In addition to its sweet and delicate flavor, pumpkin is known for the many nutritional properties it enjoys, which make it an ideal food for the wellbeing of body and skin. Here are all the properties of the pumpkin, protagonist of Halloween and perfect ingredient for first courses, velvety and side dishes full of taste.

Nutritional properties and benefits of pumpkin

There are many properties enjoyed by this yellow-orange vegetable, which warms our autumn with tasty and delicate dishes at the same time. Among the best known there is undoubtedly its low calorie intake: think that in 100 grams of pumpkin there are less than 30Kcal. Here are all the others:

Pumpkin seeds
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It is rich in vitamin A : like every orange vegetable, pumpkin contains carotenes, which produce vitamin A in quantities, essential for giving an effective immune response to our body and with antioxidant power.

Rich in proteins : an ideal food because, as we have already seen, it is low in calories but has the great advantage of being rich in proteins.

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids , known for their antioxidant power that can fight free radicals, help lower blood pressure and reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.

From diuretic power . Thanks to its high concentration of water, pumpkin helps to hydrate the body, counteracting swelling and fluid retention.

From laxative properties . The large quantity of fibers, together with the water, allows it to be a natural rebalancing of the bacterial flora, counteracting constipation and promoting intestinal motility.

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It is rich in vitamins and minerals . In particular, it contains vitamins E and C, the latter particularly useful for its anti-inflammatory power and strengthening the immune system. The salts, on the other hand, including magnesium, sodium, zinc, calcium and potassium, help the hydrosaline balance, keeping the body’s tissues and cells in good health and ensuring good nervous system functionality.

Helps the mood . Magnesium, of which it is rich, has the power to promote a general relaxation of the muscles and perform a calming action. Furthermore, tryptophan, a specific amino acid contained in the pulp, produces serotonin, the so-called good mood hormone.

The contraindications of pumpkin

Fortunately, this low-calorie vegetable has no particular contraindications, except for hypersensitive or allergic subjects. Indeed, as we have seen, this vegetable has many healing properties that make it a healthy food, as well as tasty.

Despite the many benefits of pumpkin seeds , it should be noted that these, especially if consumed in large doses, have a much higher lipid and caloric content than pumpkin, therefore it is advisable to take them in moderation.

How to use pumpkin in cooking

Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable that lends itself to a thousand uses in the kitchen. In particular, the pulp can be steamed or boiled, becoming an ideal ingredient for soups and velvety, particularly suitable for the autumn period.

Cooked in a pan , with the addition of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, it becomes a side dish full of flavor, while, cooked in the oven and crushed, it becomes a tasty puree to accompany the main courses.

Pumpkin, thanks to its flavor, is also an ideal ingredient for sweet recipes : boiled and mashed, it can in fact form the basis for various types of cakes or desserts. Not only that, its pulp is also suitable for preparing gnocchi, ravioli or filled pasta.

Pumpkin peel and seeds can also be eaten: in particular, the latter become a perfect snack or an ideal ingredient to dress salads. They are also very popular toasted in the oven.

pumpkin mask
pumpkin mask

Cosmetic uses of pumpkin: the benefits for skin and hair

As anticipated, pumpkin is also a panacea for the well-being of nails, skin and hair. In fact, its pulp has emollient properties that make it ideal for soothing skin inflammations . Not only that, it also becomes a perfect ingredient for soothing face masks against suffering, dry and poorly hydrated skin.

Its antioxidant virtues are also a great help against the passage of time and make this vegetable a true natural anti-aging able to fight free radicals and give brightness to the complexion.

Its emollient pulp acts effectively even against dry and damaged hair , giving softness and hydration.

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