The pumpkin, squash or ahuyama is a vegetable native to Central America belonging to the genus Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumber or melon. The different names of this product refer to different species, sizes and colors. It is a very popular vegetable for its important nutritional values.
Its properties make this vegetable a very beneficial culinary component for our health. So in this article you can find the many health benefits of squash.
Squash or pumpkin
The pumpkin is a vegetable very present in the cuisine of a large number of countries and cultures since its export to Europe. Although there are different varieties, most have similar nutritional properties. Its taste is sweetAlthough it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Pumpkin is high in fiber and one of the vegetables with the highest concentration of antioxidants. It is low in sodium and carbohydrates, low in calories, and high in potassium. outraged it is rich in vitamins and has a high percentage of water, which makes for a nutritious vegetable without being very high in calories. Its nutritional values per hundred grams are about twenty kilocalories, 1.4 g of fiber, 0 cholesterol, 0.1 g of fat and 5.6 g of carbohydrate.
Not only is their meat exploited, but their seeds are also beneficial. due to their high magnesium content (although these are not as low in calories). The leaves of the plant from which it emerges also have beneficial properties.
The benefits of zapallo
The health benefits of squash are many and varied, which makes it an interesting product to include in our diet. Here are some of the most notable benefits.
1. Suitable for people with digestive problems
Pumpkin or squash are easy to digest and contain mucilage that protects the lining of the stomach, so people with heartburn or digestive issues can eat without causing them discomfort. Likewise, it’s soft food which was even recommended as one of the first solid foods for babies.
2. Keep high blood pressure and heart problems away
People with high blood pressure It is safe to eat because it is a low sodium food. It is also beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol. Seeds are a source of magnesium, Which contributes to the good health of the cardiovascular system. In addition, it provides useful minerals for the cardiovascular system, such as iron.
3. It has a diuretic action
The genitourinary system also benefits from the consumption of squash, because the high water content this plant promotes diuresis, resulting in utility in kidney problems. In fact, it helps prevent stones from forming in these organs and decreases water retention.
4. Anti-inflammatory foods
Consuming zucchini has proven anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce various inflammations.
5. Good for diabetics
Pumpkin is low in calories, low in sugar and low in carbohydrates, so it is suitable for consumption by diabetics (although each subject should consider their particular dietary needs).
Additionally, studies in rats have shown that squash or pumpkin it is useful for increasing insulin levels in the bloodThus, replicating these findings in humans could help reduce the number of times type 1 diabetics or insulin-dependent people need to inject. In some experiments, it even helped regenerate damaged cells in the rodent pancreas.
6. Contributes to good digestion and weight loss
Another advantage of squash is that it allows good gastrointestinal motility and, being nutritious and very filling, it is very low in calories and low in carbohydrates. It also has a high fiber and water content. All this makes is useful for those who want to lose weight or who has gastrointestinal problems.
7. Increase energy level
It is common to think that after doing a lot of exercise or physical exertion in general, many people resort to the consumption of bananas to regain energy due to their high potassium content and thus regenerate the level of energy that muscles need to function.
But bananas are not the only product to contain a high level of potassium. In fact, squash contains an even greater amount than this fruit, so it is an effective and healthy alternative to energy recovery.
8. Prevents anemia
Although it is a low calorie product, consuming pumpkin helps prevent anemia as it contains a high amount of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Especially if it is eaten raw.
9. Helps prevent different types of cancer
Beta-carotene and the antioxidants it contains are very helpful in preventing different types of cancer. Among them, some types of melanoma. In the case of men, it also helps prevent prostate cancer due to phytosterols and lycopene present in the seeds of squash.
10. Delays cellular aging and improves skin care
Being one of the plants richest in antioxidants and having a high content of beta-carotene, squash is beneficial in the processes of regeneration and it allows cells to age longer due to oxidation. These effects mean that in addition to food consumption, squash is used in different cosmetics.
11. Helps regulate mood and sleep better
The seeds of the squash contain a lot of tryptophan, a component necessary for the generation of various neurotransmitters. the same it also provides zinc, which is helpful for the health of the immune system. Pumpkin therefore helps the body to generate hormones that allow it to relax and reduce stress.
- Xia, T. and Wang, Q. (2007). Hypoglycemic role of Cucurbita ficifolia (Cucurbitaceae) fruit extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Journal of Food Science and Agriculture, Vol. 87, no. 9, pages 1753-1757.