Pumpkins have been enjoying a comeback for several years now, and it’s not surprising because it turns out that they are extremely good for you, and have detoxifying properties. Here are 10 fascinating, not-necessarily-known facts about pumpkins:
1. From August to November, pumpkins can be enjoyed freshly harvested from local fields. After that, pumpkins are usually sold as goods from stock.
2. Pumpkins originally came from South America and were eaten in Peru and Mexico over 8,000 years ago. With the discovery of America, they then found their way to Europe.
3. The pumpkin (Cucurbita) is actually a type of berry and can weigh up to several hundred kilograms.
4. There are about 800 different types of pumpkin, but only around 200 of these are edible.
5. Pumpkins come in a wide range of colors: white, yellow, green, black, spotted or striped. They also come in different shapes, from round, oval, pear-shaped to onion-shaped, smooth or with small pimples.
6. When buying a pumpkin, always make sure that it still has a stalk because pumpkins without stalks can sometimes be inedible. The pumpkin should feel heavier than it looks, and the knock test is useful: if a pumpkin sounds hollow, it’s ripe.
7. It takes about 35 pumpkins to produce one litre of pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is known to lower cholesterol levels and help prevent cardiovascular problems. It also contains vitamins A, E and K, the trace element selenium, phytosterols and linoleic acid. Pumpkins are made up of over 90 percent water, contain high levels of beta-carotene, and have a particularly favourable sodium/potassium ratio, which supports muscle function and helps regulate the body’s water balance. On top of all this, they also contain magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous and silicic acid, as well as vitamins B, C, and D. And, incredibly, all these healthy nutrients that pack into pumpkin flesh come at only 25 calories per 100 grams!
8. Pumpkins are popular decorations for Halloween: they are hollowed out and have all sorts of spooky and not-so-spooky faces carved into them before a candle is placed in their centre. Spraying the inside of the hollowed-out pumpkins with vinegar and the outside with hairspray helps prevent them from going mouldy.
9. Pumpkins can keep for several weeks when stored in a dark place. However, once sliced, they will only keep for 30 days (max.) in a refrigerator.
10. For older men with minor prostrate disorders, pumpkin may offer a form of natural remedy with few side effects. The benefits of green pumpkin seeds have been medically proven. The seeds contain a high level of zinc, and zinc deficiency is one of the causes of prostate disorders.
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