29 Amazing Health & Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin (Squash)

Pumpkin is a squash plant cultivator that is available in different varieties and textures. It is native to North America but is now cultivated in many regions of the world. Pumpkin provides several health and beauty benefits due to the presence of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc. 

Nutrition Chart of Pumpkin

Nutrition Chart of Pumpkin

Source-USDA

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Health And Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin

Source-Pixabay.com

Following are the major health benefits of pumpkin.

(1) Protection Against Several Cancer(s)

Antioxidants and antioxidantal compounds like vitamin C, vitamin A, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, abdominal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, etc.

Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them. 

(2) Aids In Controlling Cholesterol Level 

Dietary fibers in pumpkin reduce LDL cholesterol in the body and prevent the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arteries.

This minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls, and is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.

(3) Controls High Blood Pressure

Potassium present in the pumpkin is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus provides relief from high blood pressure or hypertension.

Hypertension is a silent killer that affects millions of people around the world and gives rise to various health problems like severe headaches, nose bleed, chest pain, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, vision problems, and blood in urine, etc.

Zinc and magnesium in pumpkin also aid in regulating high blood pressure.

Consume pumpkin in moderation as over-intake of potassium may lower the blood pressure to an abnormally low level and may give rise to hypotension with symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, lack of concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.

If you are already on blood pressure medication, then consume pumpkin after having a word with your doctor to avoid the risk of food-drug intolerance.

(4) Keeps Our Cardiovascular System Healthy

Pumpkin is good for the heart and strengthens our cardiovascular system.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols, etc in pumpkin protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage and improves its efficiency.

Dietary fibers in pumpkin reduce LDL cholesterol and thus minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis which is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems.

It also contains potassium that relaxes our blood vessels and controls hypertension or high blood pressure which is a major cause of several cardiovascular and other health problems.

Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, etc in pumpkin also contribute to our cardiovascular health.

(5) Aids In Weight Loss

The low calorific value of pumpkin makes it an excellent food for individuals who are on a weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.

Eating 100 grams of pumpkin provides 26 calories of energy which means one can enjoy it without worrying too much about calorie overload.

Dietary fibers in pumpkin provide stomach satiety, controls our urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating which is a prime cause of obesity.

The abundance of water (around 92 percent) in pumpkin also contributes to weight management as it reduces calorie overload, controls overeating, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

(6) Make Our Bones Stronger

Pumpkin strengthens our bones and teeth due to the presence of bone-strengthening minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, etc in it.

Calcium is a vital mineral for the growth and development of the bones, and lack of this mineral may increase the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis.

Potassium in pumpkin neutralizes acid load, reduces loss of calcium from the bones, and thus improves bone density.

Magnesium also improves bone density and thus contributes to better bone health.

Pumpkin also contains manganese that increases calcium absorption and improves the bone mineral density of the spinal column. 

Other nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, and folate, etc also aid in making our bones healthier.

(7) Helps In Maintaining Eye Health

Pumpkin helps in maintaining our ocular health because of its rich nutritious profile.

Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protects our eyes from free radical damage and thus minimizes the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.

Beta-carotene in pumpkin converts to vitamin A which is an essential mineral for the eyes as it improves vision prevents eye dryness and minimizes the risk of night-blindness.

(8) Improves Digestive Health

Pumpkin is good for the stomach and improves our digestive health.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protect our digestive system from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, intestinal cancer, and stomach cancer, etc.

The laxative properties of dietary fibers in pumpkin improves bowel movement, aids in stool elimination, and thus relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal issues like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating and flatulence, etc. 

Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate, etc also improves our digestive health.

(9) Maintains Prostate Health

Zinc present in the yellow pumpkin minimizes the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia(BPH) and helps in treating the same.

BPH is a condition that causes enlargement of the prostate gland and hinders urinary and sexual functions. 

Antioxidants like vitamin C and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc in pumpkin protect the prostate gland from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of prostate cancer. 

Certain compounds in pumpkin prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone(DHT) and minimize the risk of prostate enlargement. 

(10) Aids In Reducing PMS Symptoms 

Manganese, a trace mineral present in the pumpkin helps in reducing Post Menstrual Syndrome(PMS) symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, and aids in dealing with mood swings and cramps, etc.

Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound present in pumpkin minimizes pain and inflammation experienced during PMS.

(11) Strengthens Our Immune System

The immune system is the defense mechanism of our body that aids in the prevention and treatment of various microbial infections, diseases, and as well as injuries, and wounds. 

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protect our immune cells or the white blood cells from free radical damage and thus strengthens our immune system.

Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells, and further strengthens our immunity.

With stronger immunity, our risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu diminishes significantly.

Other nutrients like zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and folate, etc in pumpkin also contribute to better immune health.

(12) Regulates Blood Sugar Level

Although pumpkin has a high glycemic index of 75, moderate consumption of it is still suitable for diabetic patients because of its low glycemic load of 3.

As it has low carbohydrate content, it slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream, doesn’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar level, and helps in managing diabetes.

The dietary fibers in pumpkin aids in regulating blood sugar as they slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream.

If you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding pumpkin to your diet to avoid the risk of food-drug intolerance.

Consume pumpkin in moderation as overeating it may increase the risk of hyperglycemia( high blood pressure) because of its high glycemic index.  It may cause symptoms like nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, dry mouth, weakness, confusion, and abdominal pain, etc.

(13) Good For Our Respiratory System

Pumpkin is good for the lungs and improves our respiratory health.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protect our respiratory system from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of lung cancer.

Anti-inflammatory compounds like vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene in pumpkin protect our respiratory system from pain and inflammation and minimizes the risk of asthma, bronchial asthma, and lung inflammation.

Other nutrients like potassium, zinc, magnesium, and manganese, etc in pumpkin also improve our respiratory health. 

(14) Improves Muscle Contractions And Nerve Impulses Transportation

Electrolytes like calcium, potassium, and magnesium present in the pumpkin improve muscle contraction, and aids in stimulates nerve signals.

Potassium regulates heartbeat, and in combination with sodium, it stimulates muscle contraction.

Magnesium relaxes heart muscles, and calcium helps with the contraction of heart muscles.

(15) Reduces The Risk Of Gallstones

Magnesium, a vital mineral present in the pumpkin improves our kidney health and minimizes the risk of gallstone formation.

The detoxifying properties of dietary fibers in pumpkin eliminates toxins, pollutants, and other impurities from our system, and thus minimizes the risk of kidney stones and gallstones.

Dietary fibers also reduce LDL cholesterol, prevent the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits, and thus prevent gallstones.

(16) Provides Sound Sleep

Getting quality sleep is important for our physical, mental, and emotional health as during sleep our body performs many important functions like repair and regeneration of cells, energy conversation, brain waste clearance, modulation of the immune response, etc.

Not getting quality sleep may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, obesity, diabetes, poor neurological health, accumulation of toxins, and weak immunity, etc.

Tryptophan present in the pumpkin increases the production of serotonin in the body.

Serotonin is a feel-good neurotransmitter that relaxes us, improves our mood, and promotes sound sleep.

Beauty Benefits Of Pumpkin For Skin

Some major beauty benefits of pumpkin for skin are as follows.

(1) Helps In Treating Oily Skin

The astringent properties of pumpkin help in treating oily skin.

To get rid of oily skin, mix one tablespoon of pumpkin puree with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to form a paste. Apply this paste on your moist face, and let it dry for 30-40 minutes. First, rinse off with lukewarm water, and then after few minutes rinse off with cold water. 

Wait for a while, and apply moisturizer to the skin. 

Eating pumpkin is also useful for treating oily skin as the dietary fibers in pumpkin regulate the secretion of excess oil from skin glands.

(2) Aids In Treating Dry Skin 

Pumpkin is a natural skin exfoliator that helps in the removal of dead and dry skin cells.

For treating dry skin, thoroughly mix two teaspoons of cooked or canned pumpkin puree, half teaspoon of honey, a quarter teaspoon of heavy whipping cream to form a paste.

Apply this paste to the eyes( avoid eyes), let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off with water.

This face mask removes dead and dry skin, nourishes our skin, and makes it soft, supple, and radiant. 

High water content(around 92 percent) in pumpkin moisturizes our skin.

(3) Keeps Premature Aging At Bay

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protects our skin cells from the free radical damage, and keep various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc at bay.

Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and saggy skin.

(4) Aids In Treating Dark Spots

The anti-aging properties of pumpkin help in treating dark spots.

Not just consuming pumpkin, but the topical application is also equally beneficial. 

For treating dark spots, mix one tablespoon of pumpkin puree, one teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and one teaspoon of vitamin E oil to form a paste. 

Apply this paste on the damp face, let it dry for 30 minutes, and then rinse off the face with lukewarm water.

This face mask treats dark spots, nourishes our skin, and makes it soft, supple, and radiant. 

(5) Refreshes Skin

Pumpkin refreshes our skin and provides nourishment to it.

For this, mix half cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree, half cup coconut solids, and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon to form a paste. 

Gently massage this paste all over the body and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

This face mask provides nourishment to the skin and improves skin health.

(6) Helps In Treatment Of Acne

Pumpkin helps in the prevention and treatment of skin problems like acne and pimples.

Acne is a common skin problem that affects millions of people around the world and is mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, dirt, impurities, and other unwanted substance within the skin pores.

The dietary fibers in pumpkin eliminate toxins, pollutants, and other impurities from our system.

When there are fewer toxins, they are less likely to accumulate in skin pores, and thus minimizes the risk of acne and pimples.

Dietary fibers also control the secretion of excess oil from skin glands and prevent acne from worsening.

(7) Keep Our Skin Moisturized

Pumpkin is a wonderful skin moisturizer because of its high water content ( around 92 percent).

Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc in pumpkin provide nourishment to the skin, Improves skin health, and make it soft, supple, and radiant.

For skin moisturization, mix half cup canned pumpkin puree, half cup coconut oil, and half teaspoon of cinnamon powder to form a paste, and use it as a regular moisturizer.

(8) Good For Our Lips

Because of its moisturizing effect, Pumpkin can be used as a toxin-free natural lip balm that softens lips and makes them healthy.

(9) Bathing With Pumpkin Oil

Pumpkin seed oil can be added to baths, moisturizer, conditioner and foot cream, etc to provide nourishment to the skin and make it soft, supple, radiant, and moisturized.

Beauty Benefits Of Pumpkin For Hair

Following are the major beauty benefits of pumpkin for hair

(1) Promotes Hair Growth 

Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, etc in pumpkin nourish our hair follicles and scalp and keep them healthy.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and improves scalp health. 

Other nutrients like zinc, iron, folate and potassium in pumpkin improves blood circulation in the scalp, nourishes our hair follicles and scalp, and promotes the growth of new hair follicles. 

(2) Prevents Premature Greying Of Hair

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols and flavonoids etc in the pumpkin protects our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of premature greying of hair, split ends, hair fall and dry hair etc.

Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilizes by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and doing so they cause oxidative damage to them.

(3) Prevents Hair Loss

Pumpkin contain several essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients etc that nourishes and strengthens our hair follicles.

With stronger hair follicles, risk of hairloss diminishes automatically.

It also contains several antioxidants and antioxidantal compounds that  protects our hair follicles from free radical damage.

Other nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, B vitamins and folate etc also contributes to scalp health and minimizes the risk of hairfall. 

(4) Wonderful Hair Conditioner

Pumpkin is a wonderful natural hair conditioner that conditions our hair, and make them strong and lustrous due to the presence of essential nutrients and abundance of water in it.

For hair conditioning,mix and blend two cups of chopped or cooked pumpkin, one teaspoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of yogurt to form a puree. Add one or two tablespoons of coconut oil or honey to the mixture to smoothen it.

Apply this mixture on shampooed hair. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with water.

Disclaimer

Suggested Read   36 Amazing Health & Beauty Benefits of Beetroot

This article provides general information about the topic, and should not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice treatment or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.   

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