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The nutritive, medicinal and diuretic properties of Pumpkin flour


When fall arrives so does pumpkin season.  With so many people looking for avoiding gluten and looking for wheat substitutes, there is a new candidate – pumpkin flour.

Ancient Food Habits included Whole Grain. Yet, a gluten - free diet and other life style changes in modern day may keep many free of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Arthritis. Copyright 2013 (c) Pursue Natural

Ancient Food Habits included Whole Grain. Yet, a gluten – free diet and other life style changes in modern day may keep many free of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Arthritis. Copyright 2013 (c) Pursue Natural

Physiochemical characteristics of pumpkin flour
Fresh pumpkin is rather popular all around the world. Pumpkin pie is a staple in a Thanksgiving meal. Pumpkin spice latte is a fall treat in coffee shops. Pumpkin is added to soups and curries, and their young flowers dipped and fried around the world.  This vegetable is highly valued because it is so easy to grow and produce, and has a high nutritive value.

A delicious Pumpkin Pie - An American Tradition

A delicious Pumpkin Pie – An American Tradition

Nutrition value
Pumpkins are rich in carotene, minerals, vitamins, pectin, and dietary fiber.

Medicinal value
They are diuretic, tonic and calm thirst. Because they are diuretic do not overeat. You may also want to read “Pumpkin is mildly diuretic – so eat in moderation“. The yellow – orange characteristic color is due to the presence of carotenoids. They can be converted in the body to retinol (Vitamin A). Vitamin A is essential for normal immune function and vision. At present researchers are uncertain whether the biological effects of carotene is from antioxidant or non-antioxidant activities. Carotenoids are best absorbed in the intestine with fat in a meal, so you know what to do to truly enjoy the benefits of pumpkin. To read more click here.

Comparing Pumpkin flour with Wheat flour
Researchers have studied and compared fresh pumpkin, pumpkin flour and wheat flour. Fresh pumpkin (Curcurbita moschata, C. pepo, and C. maxima) has significantly higher moisture content and lower fat, protein, crude fiber and ash content than pumpkin flour. The researchers prepared cake substituting wheat flour with pumpkin flour and measured the contents. They found a significantly higher beta carotene, crude fiber and ash and decreased crude fat, crude protein and crude carbohydrate in pumpkin flour containing cakes. Wheat flour has higher protein content (>14%) than pumpkin flour (>9%). You may read more of the original article by clicking here.

Colors of Pumpkins
Depending on the species their colors may vary from green, white, blue-grey, yellow, red and ofcourse, the characteristic orange that we know and love.  Here are a collective exhibition of pumpkins at the 2013 New York Botanical Garden. a

A pumpkin caterpillar at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

A pumpkin caterpillar at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

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A pumpkin sculpture at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

A pumpkin sculpture at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

 

A pumpkin sculptur at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

A pumpkin sculptur at the New York Botanical Garden 2013. Copyright (c) PursueNatural

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Pumpkin is mildly diuretic – so eat in moderation


Of the pumpkin’s 131 volatile compounds what is striking is variety and magnitude of the nine carbon compounds say the scientists of General Food Corporation of New York. Pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo ) of the family Cucurbitaceae includes Pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers and melons. They were probably a diet member of ancient American Indians and originated in the Americas.

A delicious Pumpkin Pie – An American Tradition

Pumpkins and their seeds have several health benefits. Notably they are zinc rich and the seeds are iron rich and B vitamin and trace minerals and aminoacids (cucurbitin) and chlorophyll pigments. The principle medicinal properties of the pumpkin plant are in the seeds, says Dr. Armando Gonzalez Stuart, in “Pumpkin seeds“.  The article discusses clinical studies employing pumpkin seeds, history, active principles and applications in herbals therapy. You may also read, “The nutritive, medicinal, and diuretic properties of pumpkin flour“.

So, should you eat these in large quantities?

The answer is eat pumpkins but since each body is individually different judge how much pumpkin you can eat and feel healthy. It is a mild diuretic! Diuretics play the role of removing water from your body in the form of urine. You will lose important minerals from kidneys and it may result in mineral imbalance. Definitely include pumpkin and pumpkin seeds in your diet but in moderation.

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with Pumpkin Icing

Pumpkin Art at the New York Botanical Garden

Then, watch out for the following diuretic symptoms:

1) Advantages of diuretics – less bloated feeling and often prescribed to protect heart patients in tablet formulations;

2) Natural diuretics aid body in flushing toxins and breaking down fat – so general feeling of health;

Pumpkins Good for Balanced Diet and Health

3) Headaches, dizziness and fainting – from mineral imbalance from eating too much or more than an individual body can handle which is different for different people and genetically defined;

Too much Pumpkin?

4) Muscle cramps

Also, pumpkin may react with herbal and other medicine you may be concurrently taking.

Please, don’t get me wrong. Pumpkin is among the healthiest food items you can include in your diet. However, watch out for symptoms like increased knee pain or stomach cramps after a diet overloaded in pumpkin, such as an entire pumpkin pie versus a single slice or two perhaps.

The Pumpkin Puppet Theater at the New York Botanical Garden

For more fabulous pumpkin photos click here

Related Article:
The nutritive, medicinal and diuretic properties of Pumpkin flour

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