Butternut squash

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A Pumpkin with approx. 1kg

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The Butternut squash pumpkin is a winter vegetable that is delicious and can be roasted, boiled, or made into a warm winter soup.

This variety of squash is planted during the spring season and harvested in the fall as the skin hardens.

The benefits of pumpkin are many and its consumption is often recommended by doctors both for cholesterol control and weight loss programs, as well as for the treatment and prevention of many diseases.

Pumpkin is a food that contains, among its properties, a huge load of vitamins and minerals, low in calories, no cholesterol and zero saturated fat. In addition, it is rich in fiber and easy to be incorporated into the daily menu due to its ease of preparation and the variety of recipes in which its pulp and seeds can be used.

Pumpkin nutritional properties

One serving of pumpkin concentrates more than one hundred percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A for an adult, plus 20% of the need for vitamin C and more than 10% of what our body needs daily for vitamin E.

It is also rich in B vitamins and a source of minerals such as copper, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. A serving of pumpkin contains 564 mg of potassium, which means more potassium than an average banana.

The Top 10 Pumpkin Benefits – What Exactly Is It For?

Improves vision and eye health

Pumpkin is one of the vegetables with the highest concentration of beta-carotene. Once ingested, beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A, a natural antioxidant that effectively works to maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes and improve the quality of vision. It is worth remembering that the consumption of vitamin A also helps to maintain the health of the skin, bones and teeth.

According to the National Institutes of Health, frequent consumption of pumpkin is able to slow down some degenerative eye diseases that lead to blindness.

Pumpkin also contains zeaxanthin, an antioxidant capable of filtering ultraviolet rays in the eye's retina, which offers protection against aging-related muscle diseases of the eyes.

 

Prevents coronary heart disease

Pumpkin is rich in substances that support our heart health such as vitamins A and C, fiber, magnesium and potassium. It is now known that consuming potassium properly is almost as important as decreasing sodium consumption in the treatment of hypertension. Its consumption is also associated with reducing the risk of stroke, protecting against muscle wasting, preserving bone density and reducing the formation of kidney stones.

Other benefits of pumpkin for the heart are the relaxation of blood vessels and the prevention of the accumulation of fat in its walls, preventing eventual obstructions and atherosclerosis. The presence of fiber also prevents the increase of cholesterol which can lead to several heart diseases.

 

Helps to lose weight

Pumpkin is an ideal food for those who need to lose weight because it contains few calories and is rich in fiber.

Because it is nutritious and contains fiber, the vegetable increases the feeling of satiety and prolongs the digestion process, which leads people to eat less. If you're on a diet program, it's important to keep your blood sugar level as stable as possible, because increasing this level triggers insulin production and unwanted fat accumulation in your body.

For the use of pumpkin to be really effective in the diet to lose weight, it is necessary that the vegetable comes in as a substitute for some more caloric food that is normally eaten.

 

Helps in the treatment of hyperplasia and prostate cancer

Since the beginning of the 20th century, pumpkin seeds have been used to treat prostate enlargement, or hyperplasia.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition, diets rich in beta-carotene showed a positive effect in the treatment of prostate cancer. Pumpkin is one of the foods with the highest concentration of beta-carotene found in nature.

 

Treat intestinal worms

Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitin, which is responsible for paralyzing and eliminating worms, especially tapeworm, from the digestive tract.

 

Lower blood pressure

Research shows that pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, substances that are beneficial in preventing hypertension. In laboratory studies, consumption of the oil helped lower cardiovascular pressure in just 12 weeks.

 

Improves men's sexual health

Zinc, present in significant amounts in pumpkin seeds, is a fundamental mineral in men's sexual health because it regulates the production of male hormones that determine fertility, erection and sexual desire.

 

Improves sleep quality

Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for assisting in the production of serotonin in our body. A neurotransmitter that improves mood helps you relax and sleep better.

 

Benefits the Immune System

Vegetables such as pumpkin, rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C combined, offer a boost to the immune system due to the powerful complement between these nutrients.

 

Improves women's health from fertility to menopause

According to publications from Harvard Medical School, consumption of vegetables rich in iron such as pumpkin improves the level of fertility in women. Studies also show that vitamin A, also present in pumpkin as beta-carotene, is essential for the synthesis of hormones during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.

Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural estrogens. These estrogens can lead to a significant increase in good cholesterol (HDL) along with a decrease in blood pressure, which influences the occurrence of headaches, joint pain and other symptoms of menopause in women.

 

Prevents wrinkles

This is not among the best known pumpkin benefits but it is very interesting. Experts say that pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, an anti-aging that stimulates the cell renewal process and increases collagen production, reducing the formation of wrinkles and leaving the skin smoother and with a more youthful appearance.

 

Enriches the baby's diet

Pumpkin puree can be introduced as early as the baby's first year. As a food rich in vitamins, beta-carotene, potassium, protein and iron, it is highly recommended by pediatricians. Its sweet taste and creamy texture makes the baby accept it easily. Another advantage of squash in baby food is that the cream can be frozen and stored for later use.

Tip: Once frozen, the puree may oxidize a little and show a darker color, but this does not indicate that it has lost its quality.

 

Pumpkin Seeds - Properties and Benefits

A large part of the pumpkin's benefits are in the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are real hidden treasures. They are rich in fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids that contribute to the protection of the cardiovascular system and the skin. They are also sources of protein, minerals and vitamins.

Studies suggest that daily consumption of just 30 grams of pumpkin seeds can have numerous health benefits due to their concentration of protein, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Benefits such as reduced prostate growth, relaxation of blood vessels, decreased risk of kidney and bladder stones, and prevention of depression. Research also shows that seeds have a high concentration of phytosterols, substances that reduce cholesterol absorption and may prevent some types of cancer. Pumpkin seeds also contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps in the formation of serotonin, an essential hormone for maintaining a good mood, controlling sleep, stress, depression and anxiety.

Nutrition Statement

Quantity Per 100

Calories 26

Total Fats 0.1 g,

Saturated Fat 0.1 g,

Polyunsaturated Fats 0 g,

Monounsaturated fats 0 g,

Cholesterol 0 mg,

Sodium 1 mg,

Potassium 340 mg,

Carbohydrates 7 g,

Food Fiber 0.5 g,

Sugar 2.8 g,

Proteins 1 g,

 

 

Denomination

Butternut squash 

 

Conditions of Conservation and/or Use

Keep in a cool and airy place

 

Origin 

Portugal 

Horta da Maria's mission is to help Portuguese families improve the quality of the food they consume, always supported by the philosophy of bringing consumers the best national products, directly from the producers.

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