Healthy pumpkins not only for Halloween

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Pumpkin with many healthy ingredients

Pumpkin season is still high until November. The classic autumn vegetables can be prepared tasty and varied and are extremely healthy.

Pumpkins are berries Pumpkins come in around 800 types, from decorative gourds weighing around 50 grams to record gourds that can weigh 600 kilograms. Botanically speaking, the autumn vegetables belong to the berry fruit family and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Not only the tasty pulp with a high content of antioxidative beta-carotene, but also the crunchy pumpkin seeds and the high-quality pumpkin seed oil have now found their way into the kitchen here in Germany.

Rich in vitamins and minerals When buying, it should be ensured that the stem is firm, because if it is missing, putrefactive bacteria could get into the pumpkin. You can recognize ripe fruits by the fact that they sound hollow when you tap the skin. In addition, they should have no dents or pressure marks. Because of the firmer flesh and more aroma, smaller pumpkins are recommended. The fruits contain a lot of vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E as well as important minerals like iron, calcium or sodium. The pulp also has almost no calories.

Decorative gourds with bitter substances In contrast to decorative gourds, gourds are usually free of bitter substances, the so-called cucurbitacins. These can lead to unpleasant irritations of the mucous membrane, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Raw pumpkin meat should therefore be tried before preparation and if it tastes bitter it should be thrown away. Ornamental gourds that are not suitable for consumption are provided with appropriate information in the trade. With a few varieties, such as the Hokkaido, the bowl can also be eaten.

Health-promoting effects proven in studies The health-promoting effects of pumpkin have already been confirmed in several studies. In 2007, researchers at East China Normal University found that pumpkins stimulate the regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells. According to the scientists, pumpkin extract counteracts preliminary stages of type 2 diabetes. In a recent study by the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, pumpkin seed oil was examined for its potential benefits for women-specific complaints. After several days of treatment with the oil, the subjects were found to have an antihypertensive effect. In addition, increased "good" HDL cholesterol values ​​have been proven, which promote the removal of excess cholesterol from the tissue and keep the cholesterol metabolism in balance.

Diverse and tasty dishes In addition to all the health reasons that speak for the pumpkin, it should not be overlooked that it can be prepared in an extremely varied and tasty way. It tastes raw in a fruit salad, pureed in a soup or baked in a quiche. In the past, pumpkin was often boiled in vinegar and oil and placed in mason jars. But this has gone out of fashion thanks to new recipes. On the website "" how to get delicious ideas. (ad)

Image: H.D.Volz /

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