Pumpkins are, of course, forever associated with Hallowe’en and are often discarded without many realising they’re extremely good for you, with their detoxifying properties. On top of this, their seeds are particularly good for men.
In celebration of the nutritional value of pumpkins, here are 10 facts for you to get your teeth into…
10 pumpkin facts
- From around September to November, pumpkins can be enjoyed freshly harvested and can be kept for several weeks if stored properly.
- Pumpkins originally came from South America and were eaten in Peru and Mexico over 8,000 years ago. With the discovery of America, they found their way to Europe.
- The pumpkin (cucurbita) is actually a type of berry and can weigh up to several hundred kilograms.
- There are about 800 different types of pumpkin but only around 200 of these are edible.
- Pumpkins come in a huge range of colours: white, yellow, green, black, spotted or striped. They can also have many different appearances: round or oval, pear-shaped or onion-like, smooth skinned or with tiny pimples.
- When purchasing a pumpkin, always make sure that it still has its 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 is ripe.
- It takes about 35 pumpkins to produce a litre of pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin oil lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent heart and circulatory problems. It also contains vitamins A, E and K, the trace element selenium, phytosterols and linoleic acid. Pumpkins themselves are made up of over 90 percent water, and they contain a high level of beta-carotene and have a particularly good sodium/potassium ratio. They also contain magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamins B, C, D and E, and the flesh has a particularly low calorie content – only 25 calories per 100 grams.
- Spraying the inside of the hollowed‑out pumpkins with vinegar and the outside with hairspray prevents them from going mouldy during Hallowe’en festivities.
- Pumpkins can keep for several weeks when stored somewhere dark. Once sliced, however, they only keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
- For men with minor prostrate disorders, pumpkin offers a form of natural relief, with few side effects. The effect of green pumpkin seeds has been medically proven. The seeds contain a high level of zinc, and zinc deficiency is one of the causes of prostate disorders.
Have we whetted your appetite for some pumpkin? Then why not try pumpkin stuffed with rice and vegetables?