Pumpkin is a delicacy that is quite common in all sorts of comfort foods. Whether you wish to experience the comforting warmth of a pumpkin scone in the evening or taste the delightful sweetness of pumpkin cookies, they are an excellent option to make a variety of dishes.
But just like any other fruit, the most common way of consuming pumpkin is raw. But is raw pumpkin safe to eat?
Stick till the very end of this article to find out!
Is it Safe to Eat Raw Pumpkin?
Yes, it is totally safe to eat raw pumpkin. It is packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins which strengthen the immune system, enhance eyesight and help with weight-loss.
However, it should be eaten in moderation and should be rinsed with water properly before consumption, otherwise it can lead to food poisoning.When it comes to items like potato, pumpkins and carrot, it is better to consume them boiled since then your stomach will be able to digest them quite easily.
|Serving size||245 grams|
|Other nutrients||Vitamin A, K & ECopperPotassium IronRiboflavinVitamin B6|
Pumpkin consumption: Here’s an Insight
Pumpkin, as we all know, is spherical with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and is most commonly deep yellow to orange in colour. Its seeds and pulp are contained within the thick shell.
Pumpkin seeds offer a wide range of medicinal advantages in addition to having a nutty flavour when roasted. In the United States, pumpkins and their seeds have been farmed and consumed by Native Americans for a very long time.
Did you know? Dogs love to eat pumpkin! Due to its high fibre content, it also aids digestion. Here’s how to prepare pumpkin dog treats.
Ways to Enjoy Raw Pumpkin
Pumpkin’s inherent sweet taste makes it a satisfying snack or side dish on its own aside from being an additive in other dishes. One of the best ways to enjoy pumpkin is to slice it into cubes.
Here are some raw pumpkin recipes you might want to try:
- Pumpkin smoothie
- Energy bites
- Pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin & Veggie burger
- Pumpkin chia pudding
You can also try canned pumpkin that is available in the market. But, it is usually not recommended because of the large amount of preservatives in it.
If you wish to make your pumpkin cubes taste good without compromising on its nutritional value, you can add an additional pinch of cinnamon or pink salt to go along with it. This will give you a home-made desert that is free of any fats and can be prepared in an instant.
Lastly, do not forget about trying the pumpkin seeds. They are rich in magnesium and can aid in safeguarding nerve and muscle function.
Pros and Cons of Eating Pumpkin
Raw pumpkin is a low-calorie delicacy loaded with minerals, fibre and vitamins. Here are some benefits and pitfalls of adding pumpkin to your diet:
- Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Our body produces free radicals when we consume food. They help our body fight against harmful bacteria. However, too many free radicals in our body can lead to conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Pumpkin contains antioxidants like alpha-carotene and beta -carotene that help in neutralizing the extra free radicals in our body so that they don’t harm our body cells.
- Helps Boost Immunity
Pumpkins are full of immune-boosting minerals. As mentioned above, they contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant which is converted into vitamin A by our body.
This helps improve immune functioning and increases our ability to combat infections. Pumpkin is also abundant in vitamin C, which has been proven to aid white blood cell formation, immune cell function, and wound healing. Other beneficial compounds include vitamin E, iron and folate.
- Low on Calories
Pumpkin is quite a filling fruit due to high fibre content but is still exceptionally low on calories. It has less than 50 calories per cup (245g) and about 94% water, which makes it a good food option for individuals who want to lose weight.
Not only this, calculated consumption can also help with weight gain. This is because pumpkin contains starch which gets converted into glucose which is a key beneficiary in fat storage.
Fun fact: Pumpkins were also used for treating snakebites and freckles by nomads in prehistoric times.
- Benefits Heart Health
Pumpkin is rich in nutrients that can help you maintain a healthy heart. Nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and fibre are all found in pumpkin and are known to have heart-healthy effects.
According to research, individuals with higher potassium intake have lower chances of high blood pressure and a heart stroke.
There are not many side effects of eating raw pumpkin. Some rare ones include stomach discomfort, nausea and digestive issues. Here’s more on this:
- Stomach Ache
Pumpkin can induce stomach pain if consumed in large amounts. The fact that it is a high-nutrient food means that consuming it in excess of what is considered safe might cause stomach distress, followed by cramps and irritation.
Many people are often allergic to pumpkin seeds. This can cause allergic reactions which lead to throat irritation, headache and coughing.
- Not ideal for those with hypertension
You should bid adieu to pumpkin if you are a victim of low blood pressure. The reason behind this is the antioxidants which come along with pumpkin. Furthermore, some people also avoid giving it to children since pumpkin can trigger stomach ache due to the presence of fatty acids in it.
In the age of deleterious processed foods, anything that is natural is always going to be better. Pumpkin can be consumed both in its raw as well as cooked form.
A powerhouse of minerals and vitamins, this fruit has a plethora of health benefits in its bag which overshadow the little side effects. Moderate consumption is sure to pave the way for a healthy heart and immune system.