The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - Pumpkin

The word pumpkin is said to have come from the Greek word "pepon" meaning large melon. The pumpkin is related to squash, cucumber and melons. There are numerous varieties of pumpkins, and while they come in many shapes and sizes, they all have yellowish-orange, firm, moist flesh and flat seeds inside. Most pumpkins are sold by variety, with the exception of the most common gray pumpkin. The most common varieties are butternut, jap, and golden nugget.

Select pumpkin with hard, thick skins that feel heavy for their size. If cut, look for bright yellow-orange flesh which has a sweet, nutty aroma. Avoid any with soft moist patches.

Store whole pumpkin in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place for up to 2 months. Once cut , wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Pumpkins are always cheaper by the kg when bought whole.
Category: Vegetable
In Season: all year
To Buy: Select pumpkin with hard, thick skins that feel heavy for their size. If cut, look for bright yellow-orange flesh which has a sweet, nutty aroma. Avoid any with soft moist patches.
To Store: Store whole pumpkin in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place for up to 2 months. Once cut , wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Tips & Tricks: Buy a special pumpkin peeler to make the job of peeling a little safer.

Nutrition (1 Cup):

Weight (grams): 120
Carbohydrates, g: 7.7
Protein (g): 2.5
Saturated Fat, g : 0.4
Vitamin A: Often called the "anti-infective" vitamin, it protects the mucous membranes of the body, reducing chance of infection and enhancing the immune system's response. Necessary for growth and maintenenance of bones, teeth and body tissues and healthy foetal development, this vitamin is also important for night vision.

Contraindications:
Taken in excess will accumulate in the body.
Folic Acid: Important during pregnancy as this vitamin is involved in the duplication of chromosomes, preventing birth defects. Lowers the risk of heart disease and is necessary for proper brain and gut function.
Antioxidants:
Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Low
Energy (kJ): 202
High GI > 70 : Glycaemic Index refers to the rate at which carbohydrate rich foods are converted to glucose for energy by the body; High GI foods raise blood sugar levels quickly and creating energy spikes followed quickly by energy slumps.
Fat (g): 0.5
Monosaturated Fat , g: 0.1
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Contraindications:
Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Low
Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. n/a

Cooking:

Cooking Tips: Steam, bake or add to stir-fries. Boiling pumpkin can cause it to fall apart. Golden nugget pumpkins can be baked whole. Pumpkin soup is very popular but many are made with cream and have a high fat content.

Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

Cold and Flus
Eye Problems

* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

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