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Abstract

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It's native to North America and particularly popular around Thanksgiving and Halloween. Pumpkins have considerable variation in nutrient contents depending on the cultivation environment, species. In the US, pumpkin typically refers to Cucurbita pepo, an orange type of winter squash. In this study, the general chemical compositions and some bioactive components, such as tocopherols, carotenoids, and β-sitosterol, were analyzed in three major species of pumpkin (Cucurbitaceae pepo, C. moschata, and C. maxima) grown in Asia and also in three parts (flesh, seed and peel) of each pumpkin species. C. maxima had significantly more carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber than C. pepo or C. moschata (P < 0.05). The moisture content as well as the amino acid and arginine contents in all parts of the pumpkin was highest in C. pepo. The major fatty acids in the seeds were palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids. C. pepo and C. moschata seeds had significantly more γ-tocopherol than C. maxima, whose seeds had the highest β-carotene content. C. pepo seeds had significantly more β-sitosterol than the others. Nutrient compositions differed considerably among the pumpkin species and parts. These results will be useful in updating the nutrient compositions of pumpkin in the Korean food composition database. Additional analyses of various pumpkins grown in different years and in different areas of Asia are needed. Beyond its delicious taste, pumpkin is nutritious and linked to many health benefits. God gifted knowledge has proven by this research.
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Bioscience Research
Print ISSN: 1811-9506 Online ISSN: 2218-3973
Journal by Innovative Scientific Information & Services Network
RESEARCH ARTICLE BIOSCIENCE RESEARCH, 2019 16(4): 3987-3999. OPEN ACCESS
Prophetic vegetable Pumpkin, Its impressive health
benefits and total analysis
Mohd Mokhlesur Rahman1, Hafizan Juahir1, Muhammad Hedayatul Islam2*,
Mohammad Moneruzzaman Khandaker3, Tengku Mohd Ariff4 and Wan Mohd
Norsani wan Nik5
1East Coast Environmental Research Institute (ESERI), Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
2Research Institute for Islamic Product and Malay Civilization (INSPIRE), Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
3Fakulti Biosumber & Industri Makanan, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
4Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
5Scholl of Ocean Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
*Correspondence: mhedayatul@unisza.edu.my Received: 28-11-2019, Revised: 28-12-2019, Accepted: 29-12-2019 e-
Published: 31-12-2019
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It’s native to North America
and particularly popular around Thanksgiving and Halloween. Pumpkins have considerable variation in
nutrient contents depending on the cultivation environment, species. In the US, pumpkin typically refers
to Cucurbita pepo, an orange type of winter squash. In this study, the general chemical compositions
and some bioactive components, such as tocopherols, carotenoids, and β-sitosterol, were analyzed in
three major species of pumpkin (Cucurbitaceae pepo, C. moschata, and C. maxima) grown in Asia and
also in three parts (flesh, seed and peel) of each pumpkin species. C. maxima had significantly more
carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber than C. pepo or C. moschata (P < 0.05). The moisture content as
well as the amino acid and arginine contents in all parts of the pumpkin was highest in C. pepo. The
major fatty acids in the seeds were palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids. C. pepo and C. moschata
seeds had significantly more γ-tocopherol than C. maxima, whose seeds had the highest β-carotene
content. C. pepo seeds had significantly more β-sitosterol than the others. Nutrient compositions differed
considerably among the pumpkin species and parts. These results will be useful in updating the nutrient
compositions of pumpkin in the Korean food composition database. Additional analyses of various
pumpkins grown in different years and in different areas of Asia are needed. Beyond its delicious taste,
pumpkin is nutritious and linked to many health benefits. God gifted knowledge has proven by this
research.
Keywords: Pumpkins, macronutrients, tocopherols, carotenoids, β-sitosterol
INTRODUCTION
In human history and civilization, pumpkin is a
sacred and purest food boldly mentioned in both
divine sources of Abrahamic faith and scriptures;
the Bible, and the Qur’an. From a spiritual and
physical point of view, pumpkin has also been well
versed in the Prophetic Tradition. Imam Ibn al-
Qayyim wrote extensively on the benefits of
pumpkin, which can be found in his book ‘Tibb an-
Nabawi’ (Medicine of the Prophet) Ibn al-Qayyim
(1985). There are lot of health benefits of pumpkin
that have come to light, including in helping to
reduce swellings, cooling down fever, helping with
digestion, eliminating bile, etc. Its seeds also
contain essential fatty acids that help maintain
healthy blood vessels, nerves, and tissue. It also
includes anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-
carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3988
What we know about “pumpkin” is a fruit
which is defined as being the part of the plant
which contains seeds. The average pumpkin
contains about a cup of seeds, so they are most
definitely a fruit. A pumpkin is a member of the
cucurbit family. The cucurbit family includes
pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, luffas,
watermelons, and melons. Most of the plants in
this family are vines. Pumpkins come in a
multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes. In the farm,
it grows green, yellow, red, white, blue and most
of the pumpkins are multi-colored striped. They
can be huge, tiny, flat, short, tall, round, pear,
necked, smooth, ribbed and even warty. Some
pumpkins are fabulous for culinary uses.
Why Pumpkins?
Consuming fruits and vegetables have long
been associated with a reduced risk of many
lifestyle-related health conditions. Numerous
studies have suggested that increasing
consumption of plant foods like pumpkin
decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality,
diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy
complexion and hair, increased energy, overall
lower weight. Pumpkin is an extremely nutrient
dense food, meaning it is chock-full of vitamins
and minerals but low on calories.
Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of
beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known to
give orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant
color and which is converted to vitamin A in the
body. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may
reduce the risk of developing certain types of
cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart
disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.
A small number of possible health benefits of
consuming pumpkin briefly mentioned in the
following appearances.
Blood pressure: Eating pumpkin is good for
the heart. The fiber, potassium and vitamin C
content in pumpkin all support heart health.
Consuming adequate potassium is almost as
important as decreasing sodium intake for the
treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Other foods that are high in potassium include
cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes, oranges,
spinach, and bananas. Increased potassium
intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of
stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass,
preservation of bone mineral density and
reduction in the formation of kidney stones
Adithya Cattamanchi (2009).
Cancer: One particular type of cancer where
research has shown a positive benefit of a diet
rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer. Beta-
carotene has also been shown to have an inverse
association with the development of colon cancer
in the Japanese population.
Eye Health: The antioxidants vitamin C,
vitamin E and beta-carotene (all of which pumpkin
has) have been shown to support eye health and
prevent degenerative damage. A higher intake of
all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also
been shown to decrease the risk of and
progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Fertility: For women of child-bearing age,
consuming more iron from plant sources such as
spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets
appear to promote fertility, according Harvard
Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications
(http:// www. medical news today.com). The
vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene
then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also
essential during pregnancy and lactation for
hormone synthesis.
Immunity: Plant foods like pumpkins that are
high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an
immunity a boost from their powerful combination
of nutrients.
A Short History of the Pumpkin
It is broadcasted in ‘The History Channelthat
Pumpkins are originated in North America. Seeds
from related plants have been found in Mexico
dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C. The name
pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large
melon” which is “pepon.” Pepon was changed by
the French into “pompon.” The English people
changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” American
colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin”
(http://www.hsgpurchasing.com/Articles/pumpkin.
htm). Native American (Konow as Red Indians)
used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries
before the pilgrims landed. They also dried strips
of pumpkin and wove them into mats. Indians
would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the
open fire and eat them. When white settlers
arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the
Indians and pumpkin soon became a staple in
their diets. As today, early settlers used them in a
wide variety of recipes from desserts to stews and
soups. The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to
have occurred when the colonists sliced off the
pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it
with milk, spices, and honey. The pumpkin was
then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.
Pumpkins and their seeds are native to the
Americas, and indigenous species are found
across North America, South America, and
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3989
Central America. The word “pepita” is consistent
with this heritage, since it comes from Mexico,
where the Spanish phrase “pepita de calabaza”
means “little seed of squash”
http://www.whfoods.com/ genpage. php? P
friendly=1&tname=food spice and d bid=82.
Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food
among many Native American tribes, who
treasured them both for their dietary and
medicinal properties. In South America, the
popularity of pumpkin seeds have been traced at
least as far back as the Aztec cultures of 1300-
1500 AD. From the Americas, the popularity of
pumpkin seeds spread to the rest of the globe
through trade and exploration over many
centuries. In parts of Eastern Europe and the
Mediterranean (especially Greece), pumpkin
seeds became a standard part of everyday
cuisine, and culinary and medical traditions in
India and other parts of Asia also incorporated this
food into a place of importance.
Today, China produces more pumpkins and
pumpkin seeds than any other country. India,
Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Korea, Vietnam and the
U.S. are also major producers of pumpkin and
pumpkin seeds. In the U.S., Illinois is the largest
producer of pumpkins, followed by California,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York.
However, pumpkins are now grown commercially
in virtually all U.S. states and over 100,000 acres
of U.S. farmland is planted with pumpkins.
Pumpkins - Food of the Prophets (a.s.w.)
Many people concern about changing their
diet to maintain a healthy life or to reduce
overweight. The best and divine remedy we may
find in the life style and the food habit of the
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). There are some
foods Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.) used to love
best and these foods not only are healthy but
consuming it would also be the practice of
Sunnah. Pumpkin was Prophet Muhammad
(s.a.w.)’s one of the favorite foods. One of the
notable story stated in the Qur’an is about Prophet
Yunus (Jonah) and the Pumpkin. It is worth to
mention that the Pumpkin protected Prophet
Yunus (a.s.w.) after he was cast out of the belly of
the whale and onto the shore. Interestingly, it was
also loved by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to
eat. Yaqteen is a pumpkin gourd, and in Arabic it
implies a ‘tree-like’ growth that does not have a
stem, similar to watermelon and cucumber plants.
Its significance becomes clear when Allah (SWT)
said in the Qur’an about Yunus after he was cast
out of the belly of the whale and onto the shore:
“And We caused a plant of yaqteen to grow over
him.” (Al-Saaffaat, 37:146). The Mufassirun
(principally, the commentators of the Qur’an, who
deal with the issues of linguistics, jurisprudence,
and theology) agreed that ‘yaqteen’ mentioned in
the Qur’an is originally pumpkin, which is also
called ‘dubba’ in the language of Arabs. They also
provide a number of reasons as to why the
pumpkin plant in particular was mentioned in the
Qur’an. Imam Baghawi brings a statement of
Muqatil bin Hayyan in his Tafseer, where he said:
“Yunus was protected by the shade (growth) of
the plant and was given its milk to drink in the
morning and evening, in order to heal his flesh
and grow and strengthen his hair. He slept and
awoke (under its shade)” Al-Hussein.
Ibn Katheer said that: Some describe the benefits
of the pumpkin, such as it grows quickly, it
provides shade, it has large, smooth leaves, it
keeps flies away and its fruit provides good
nourishment: it can be eaten raw or cooked, and
its skin may be eaten too”
https://sunniconnect.com/m3/download/pdf-tafsir-
ibn-kathir-10-volumes.
Therefore, from the purpose of this plant (in
relation to Yunus) was to:
1) Provide cover and warmth.
2) Drink from its milk to quench thirst.
3) Eat from its flesh to stem hunger.
4) Nourish his overall physical well-being.
5) It was from the Graces of his Rabb (Lord)
that reached him, as the Qur’an said: “If not that a
favor from his Lord overtook him, he would have
been thrown onto the naked shore while he was
censured.” (Surah al-Qalam, 68: 49).
It is understood from the books of Tafseer that
when Yunus (a.s.w.) was cast onto the naked
shore, he was in a very desperate and distressful
condition, which arose from the physical injuries
he suffered in the acidic belly of the whale,
including loss of hair, peeled skin, and bleached
hands and face, etc. Yet the only plant that Allah
(SWT) provided for his recovery was pumpkin.
There are numerous narrations of ahadith
showing that pumpkin was also one of the
favourite foods of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)
and his fondness for it. It is well-known the
narration of Anas bin Malik (r.a.) stated:
“A tailor once invited the Messenger of Allah
(s.a.w.) to eat from some food that he prepared. I
(Anas) accompanied him (s.a.w.) to dine. The
tailor brought forth some bread made from barley
and some soup that had pumpkin, and dried
meat. I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) follow
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3990
the traces of pumpkin around the edge of the pot,
which made me love pumpkin ever since that day”
[8]. In another narration, Abu Talut also narrated:
“I entered upon Anas bin Malik (r.a) while he was
eating pumpkin, he said (referring to the yaqteen)
‘you are a plant that I love because the
Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to like eating
you” https://www.kalamullah.com/hadith.html.
Jabir narrated from his son Hakem “I entered
the Prophet’s home and I saw pumpkin being cut
into pieces. I asked what that was for. He said:
‘Something we put in our food to increase it’
https://www.kalamullah.com/hadith.html,
Once the Messenger of Allah entered his
house and asked A’ishah (r.a.) if they had any
pumpkin, and he said about it: “This dubba’
increases our food” Ibn Majah; and Al-Busayri.
Dubba is like (either) something we put in our food
in order to increase its amount or to enhance its
taste. With all this evidence from the above-
mentioned narrations, we may conclude that
pumpkin was one of the Prophet Muhammad’s
favorite foods.
Myths of Pumpkins
Around the world, pumpkins are generally
grown as a source of food and animal feed, but in
some places, it is found that pumpkins are part of
the culture, or deeply rooted in traditions.
However, Pumpkins are cooked and consumed in
many ways, and most parts of the pumpkin are
edible, from the fleshy shell to the seeds. In Asia,
pumpkin flesh is consumed in soups and juices, or
it is incorporated into various foods, such as rice
cakes, candies, and breads. In the US and
Canada, pumpkin is a Halloween and
Thanksgiving staple. Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin
seed oil are also commonly consumed in some
countries.
Pumpkins are gourd squashes of the genus
Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae. The
pumpkin species available include C. pepo called
“Kuksuhobak” in Korean, C. moschata
“neulgeunhobak”, and C. maxima “danhobak”.
These three species are cultivated worldwide and
have high production yields; Phillips et al., (2005).
Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for
cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible,
including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves,
and even the flowers. The pumpkins are grown all
over the world. Yes! six of the seven continents
can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is
the only continent that they won’t grow in Pumpkin
is a type of winter squash that belongs to the
Cucurbitaceae family. It’s native to North America
and particularly popular around Thanksgiving and
Halloween Gong et al., (2012). In the US,
pumpkin typically refers to Cucurbita pepo, an
orange type of winter squash.
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked,
steamed, or roasted. In its native North America, it
is a very important, traditional part of the autumn
harvest, eaten mashed and making its way into
soups and purees. Often, it is made into pie,
various kinds of which are a traditional staple of
the Canadian. In Canada, Mexico, the United
States, Europe and China, the seeds are often
roasted and eaten as a snack.
In the Middle East, pumpkin is used for sweet
dishes; a well-known sweet delicacy is called
Halawa yaqtin. In South Asian countries such as
India, pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar, and
spices in a dish called kadu ka halwa.
Pumpkin is used to make sambar in Udupi
cuisine. In Guangxi province, China, the leaves of
the pumpkin plant are consumed as a cooked
vegetable or in soups. In Australia and New
Zealand, pumpkin is often roasted in conjunction
with other vegetables. In Japan, small pumpkins
are served in savory dishes, including tempura.
In Myanmar, pumpkins are used in both
cooking and desserts (candied). The seeds are a
popular sunflower seed substitute. In Thailand,
small pumpkins are steamed with custard inside
and served as a dessert. In Vietnam, pumpkins
are commonly cooked in soups.
In Italy, it can be used with cheeses as a
savory stuffing for ravioli. Also, pumpkin can be
used to flavor both alcoholic and nonalcoholic
beverages.
In the southwestern United States and
Mexico, pumpkin and squash flowers are a
popular and widely available food item. They may
be used to garnish dishes, and they may be
dredged in a batter then fried in oil.
In other regions, such as Australia, pumpkin
may refer to any type of winter squash. While
commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is
scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. That
said, it’s nutritionally more similar to vegetables
than fruits. Beyond its delicious taste, pumpkin is
nutritious and linked to many health benefits.
Pumpkins have long been used for traditional
medicine in many countries, such as China,
Argentina, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Korea, but
this prophetic vegetable are not consumed as
vegetables and medicines in religious dominant
countries, such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab
Emirate, Jordan, Qatar, Brunei, Malaysia,
Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan. Ssince
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3991
pumpkin flesh and seeds are rich not only in
proteins, antioxidant vitamins, such as
carotenoids and tocopherols, Stevenson
et.al.(2007), and minerals, but low in fat and
calories. β-carotene reduces skin damage from
the sun and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. α-
carotene is thought to slow the aging process,
reduce the risk of developing cataracts, and
prevent tumor growth. Vitamin E (tocopherols)
protects the cell from oxidative damage by
preventing the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids
in cell membrane. Pumpkin seeds, often eaten as
a snack, are a good source of zinc,
polyunsaturated fatty acids Glew et al., (2006) and
Sabudak (2007), and phytosterols (e.g. β-
sitosterol) Phillips et al., (2005) and Ryan (2007),
which can prevent chronic diseases. Recent
studies have reported that pumpkin can benefit
the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia,
because of its high β-sitosterol content, Carbin et
al., (1990), Dvorkin and Song (2002), Gossell-
Williams et al., (2006), Tsai et al., (2006). β-
Sitosterol has been indicated to reduce blood
cholesterol and to decrease risks of certain types
of cancers.
The most frequently consumed Cucurbita
species in Asia are C. moschata and C.
maxima, whereas C. pepo consumption is
relatively low.
Thus, there is limited research regarding C.
pepo in Korea. Other countries, however,
including the US and Canada consume more C.
pepo than other species. In 2006, the National
Rural Living Science Institute in Korea updated
their food composition tables (National Rural
Living Science Institute, 2006). The Asian (in
Korean) food composition tables include 4 types
of pumpkins (mature pumpkin, young pumpkin,
zucchini squash, and sweet pumpkin), mainly C.
moschata and C. maxima (National Rural Living
Science Institute, 2006). Some nutrient contents
in C. pepo are also reported, but the amino acid,
fatty acid, vitamin E, and carotenoid contents in C.
pepo are not available. Currently, there is limited
research analyzing the nutrients in C. pepo grown
in Korea, and the nutrients in the different parts of
each pumpkin species. Because the nutrient
composition of pumpkins will differ depending on
their origins and cultivation environments; Park et
al., (199), Jang et al.,(2001), Heo et at.,(1998),
Achu et al., (2005), Applequist (2006), it may be
important to know the nutritional profiles of the
various pumpkin species grown in Korea and of
the various parts of these pumpkins. Moreover, C.
pepo harvest and consumption are gradually
increasing in Asia. Therefore, this study
determined the general nutrient composition,
including amino acids, fatty acids, and specific
bioactive nutrients, such as tocoperols,
carotenoids, and β-sitosterol, of 3 pumpkin
species grown and consumed in Asia (C. pepo, C.
moschata, and C. maxima) and 3 different parts
(peel, flesh, and seed) of each species
Here are some impressive nutrition and health
benefits of pumpkin.
Highly Nutritious and Particularly Rich in
Vitamin A. Pumpkin has an impressive nutrient
profile. One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams)
contains roughly, (USDA SR-21):
Nutritional Facts of Pumpkins
The Amino Acid Score has not been corrected
for digestibility, which could reduce its value.
Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals,
pumpkin is also relatively low in calories, as it’s
94% water. It’s also very high in beta-carotene, a
carotenoid that your body turns into vitamin A.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are edible, nutritious
and linked to numerous health benefits.
High Antioxidant Content Reduce Risk of
Chronic Diseases
Free radicals or ionic molecules produced by
human body’s metabolic process. Though highly
unstable, they have useful roles, such as
destroying harmful bacteria. However, excessive
free radicals in the body create a state called
oxidative stress, which has been linked to chronic
illnesses, including heart disease and cancer,
Khansari (2009). Pumpkin contain antioxidants,
such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-
cryptoxanthin. These can neutralize free radicals,
stopping them from damaging body cells, Ami
Ben-Amotz and Rachel F. (1998). Invitro and and
animal studies have shown that these antioxidants
protect skin against sun light damage and reduce
the risk of cancer, eye diseas and other
conditions, Stahl and Sies (2012), Johnson
(2002). However, keep in mind that more human-
based research is needed to make health
recommendations. See the table-2 below for in
depth analysis of nutrients.
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3992
Table-1: Tocopherol (mg/kg raw weight) and carotenoid concentrations (mg/kg raw weight) in
pumpkins (Cucurbitaceae) by species and by part, Phillips et al., (2005)
Tocopherol and carotenoid analysis
Part
Species
C. Moschata
C. maxima
α-tocopherol
Peel
6.15±2.19
9.62±0.79
Flesh
1.54±0.99
2.31±0.03
Seed
25.74±0.73
20.79±1.13
γ-tocopherol
Peel
ND
3.55±0.17
Flesh
0.52±0.01
ND
Seed
66.84±4.90
28.70±2.13
β-carotene,
Peel
39.48±0.24
68.30±2.02
123.19±30.02
Flesh
1.48±0.05
5.70±0.39
17.04±12.18
Seed
17.46±18.29
7.15±1.50
31.40±3.02
β-cryptoxanthin
Peel
0.15±0.02
0.13±0.03
6.57±1.87
Flesh
ND
ND
0.65±0.02
Seed
0.16±0.16
ND
0.21±0.06
Table-2: Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.), fresh, Nutritive value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National
Nutrient data base) (USDA SR-21).
Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving
%DV (2%)
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving
%DV (4%)
Amounts per 1 cup, mashed (245g)
Calories
49.0 (205 kJ)
Protein
1.8g
From Carbohydrate
43.3 (181 kJ)
Tryptophan
22.0mg
From Fat
1.4 (5.9 kJ)
Threonine
51.5mg
From Protein
4.3 (18.0 kJ)
Isoleucine
56.4mg
From Alcohol
0.0 (0.0 kJ)
Leucine
83.3mg
Lysine
95.6mg
Methionine
19.6mg
Cystine
4.9mg
Phenylalanine
56.4mg
Fats & Fatty Acids
Tyrosine
73.5mg
Valine
61.2mg
Amounts Per Selected Serving
%DV
Arginine
95.6mg
Total Fat
0.2g %
Histidine
27.0mg
Saturated Fat
0.1g 0%
Alanine
49.0mg
Monounsaturated Fat
0.0g
Aspartic acid
181mg
Polyunsaturated Fat
0.0g
Glutamic acid
326mg
Total trans fatty acids
~
Glycine
46.5mg
Total trans-monoenoic fatty
acids
~
Proline
46.5mg
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids
~
Serine
78.4mg
Total Omega-3 fatty acids
4.9 mg
Hydroxyproline~
--
Total Omega-6 fatty acids
4.9 mg
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3993
Vitamins
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving
Amounts Per Selected Serving
Principle
Nutrient Value
RDA
Principle
Nutrient Value
RDA
Vitamin A
7384 IU
246%
Electrolites
Vitamin C
9.0 mg
15%
Sodium
1 mg
0.5%
Vitamin E
1.06 mg
7%
Potassium
340 mg
7%
Vitamin K
1.1 mcg
1%
Minerals
Folates
16 μg
4%
Calcium
21 mg
2%
Niacin
0.600 mg
4%
Copper
0.127 mg
14%
Pantothenic acid
0.298 mg
6%
Iron
0.80 mg
10%
Pyridoxine
0.061 mg
5%
Magnesium
12 mg
3%
Riboflavin
0.110 mg
8.5%
Manganese
0.125 mg
0.5%
Thiamin
0.050 mg
4%
Phosphorus
44mg
5%
Phyto-nutrients
Selenium
0.3 mcg
<0.5%
Carotene-α
515 mcg
--
Zinc
0.32 mg
3%
Carotene-ß
3100 mcg
--
Crypto-xanthin-ß
2145 mcg
--
Percentage of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Nutrients that can boost body immune system
Pumpkin is high in vitamins a and c, which
can help boost our immune system. Its supply of
vitamin e, iron and folate may strengthen your
immunity as well. It is loaded with nutrients that
can boost body immune system. It’s high in beta-
carotene, which your body turns into vitamin a.
Studies show that vitamin a can strengthen our
immune system and help fight infections.
Conversely, people with a vitamin a deficiency
can have a weaker immune system, Kim et al.,
(2016), Spencer and Belkaid (2012), Veldhoen
and Ferreira (2015). Pumpkin has high in vitamin
c, which has been shown to increase white blood
cell production, help immune cells work more
effectively and make wounds heal faster, Carr and
Maggini (2017), Huijskens et al., (2014). Aside
from the two vitamins mentioned above, pumpkin
is also a good source of vitamin e, iron and folate
- all of which have been shown to aid the immune
system as well, Maggini et al., (2007).
Pumpkin has vitamin a, lutein and zeaxanthin
Pumpkins’ high vitamin a, lutein and
zeaxanthin contents may protect your eyes
against eyesight loss, which becomes more
common with age. It’s quite common for eyesight
to diminish with age. Fortunately, eating the right
nutrients can lower our risk of eyesight loss.
Pumpkin is plentiful in nutrients that have been
linked to strong eyesight as our body ages. For
instance, its beta-carotene content provides our
body with necessary vitamin a. Research shows
that vitamin a deficiency is a very common cause
of blindness, Rasmussen and Johnson (2013),
Eisenhauer et al., (2017). In 22 studies of
pumpkin analysis, scientists discovered that
people with higher intakes of beta-carotene had a
significantly lower risk of cataracts, a common
cause of blindness, Wang et al., (2014). Pumpkin
is also one of the best sources of lutein and
zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks
of age-related macular degeneration (amd) and
cataracts, Wang et al., (2011). Additionally, it
contains good amounts of vitamins c and e, which
function as antioxidants and may prevent free
radicals from damaging your eye cells.
Low calorie count and nutrient density
Pumpkin is packed with nutrients and yet has
under 50 calories per cup (245 grams). This
makes it a nutrient-dense food. It’s also a good
source of fiber, which may suppress our appetite.
It is considered a nutrient dense food. That
means it’s incredibly low in calories despite being
packed with nutrients. In fact, pumpkin clocks in at
under 50 calories per cup (245 grams) and
consists of about 94% of water, (USDA SR-21).
Simply put, pumpkin is a weight-loss friendly food
because you can consume more of it than other
carb sources - such as rice and potatoes - but still
take in fewer calories. What’s more, pumpkin is a
good source of fibre, which can help curb your
appetite.
Pumpkins contain carotenoids (Antioxidant)
Pumpkins contain carotenoids, which function
as antioxidants. These compounds are linked to
lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and
breast cancers. Cancer is a serious illness in
which cells grow abnormally. Cancer cells
produce free radicals to help them multiply rapidly,
Dreher and Junod (1996). Pumpkin is high in
carotenoids, which are compounds that can
function as antioxidants. This allows them to
neutralize free radicals, which may protect against
certain cancers. For instance, an analysis of 13
studies showed that people with higher intakes of
alpha-carotene and beta-carotene had
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3994
significantly lower risks of stomach cancers, Zhou
et al., (2016). Similarly, many other human studies
have found that individuals with higher intakes of
carotenoids have lower risks of throat, pancreas,
breast and other cancers, Huang et al., (2016), Hu
et al., (2012), Ge et al., (2013). However,
scientists aren’t sure if the carotenoids
themselves or other factors - such as lifestyle
habits of those who consume diets rich in
carotenoids - are responsible for these lowered
risks.
Potassium, Vitamin C and Fibre Give Benefit
Heart Health
Pumpkin is a good source of potassium,
vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, which have been
linked to heart health benefits. It contains a variety
of nutrients that can improve your heart health. It’s
high in potassium, vitamin C and fibre, which have
been linked to heart benefits. For instance,
studies have shown that people with higher
potassium intakes appear to have lower blood
pressure and a reduced risk of strokes - two risk
factors for heart disease, Filippini et al., (2017),
Vinceti et al., (2016). Pumpkin leaves are a
popular vegetable in the Western and central
regions of Kenya; they are called severe, and are
an ingredient of mukimo [49] respectively,
whereas the pumpkin itself is usually boiled or
steamed. The seeds are popular with children
who roast them on a pan before eating them.
Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which may
protect “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
When LDL cholesterol particles oxidize, they can
clump along the walls of blood vessels, which can
restrict your vessels and raise your risk of heart
disease, Milde et al., (2007), https://www.
cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm,
Pumpkin Promote Healthy Skin
Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which acts
as a natural sunblock. It also contains vitamins C
and E, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can
help keep your skin strong and healthy. Pumpkins
are loaded with nutrients that are great for your
skin. For one, it’s high in carotenoids like beta-
carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. In
fact, one cup (245 grams) of cooked pumpkin
packs 245% of the RDI for vitamin A, (USDA SR-
21). Studies show that carotenoids like beta-
carotene can act as a natural sunblock, Wilhelm
and Helmut (2012). Once ingested, carotenoids
are transported to various organs including your
skin. Here, they help protect skin cells against
damage from harmful UV rays, Stahl and Sies
(2012). Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which is
essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this
vitamin to make collagen, a protein that keeps
your skin strong and healthy, Pullar et al., (2017).
Moreover, pumpkins contain lutein, zeaxanthin,
vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have
been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against
UV rays, Stahl and Sies (2012), Pandel et al.,
(2013), Roberts et al., (2008).
Our Diet for Incredibly Versatile
Pumpkin, once sliced and cut, can be easily
roasted, puréed into soup or baked into pies. Its
seeds are also edible and highly nutritious.
Pumpkin is delicious, versatile and easy to add to
your diet. Its sweet flavor makes it a popular
ingredient in dishes like custards, pies and
pancakes. However, it works just as well in savory
dishes such as roasted vegetables, soups and
pastas. Pumpkins have a very tough skin, so it
requires some effort to slice. Once you cut it,
scoop out the seeds and any stringy parts, then
slice the pumpkin into wedges. The seeds are
also edible and packed with nutrients which offer
many other benefits. For instance, pumpkin seeds
may improve bladder and heart health, Gossell-
Williams et al., (2011), Nishimura et al., (2014).
Pumpkin is also available pre-cut or canned,
giving you flexibility with your recipes and
preparation. When buying canned, be sure to read
labels carefully, as not all products will be 100%
pumpkin and you may want to avoid added
ingredients, particularly sugar. The easiest way to
eat pumpkin is to season it with salt and pepper
and roast it in the oven. Many people also enjoy
making it into pumpkin soup, especially during
winter.
Eat Pumpkin become healthy
Pumpkin is very healthy and generally safe
when eaten in moderation. Make sure to avoid
pumpkin-based junk foods, as they are often
packed with added sugar. It is very healthy and
considered safe for most. However, some people
may experience allergies after eating pumpkin,
Elena Figueredo, Javier Cuesta-Herranz et al.,
(2000). It’s also considered mildly diuretic, which
means eating a lot of pumpkin may induce a
“water pill”-like reaction, increasing the amount of
water and salt your body expels through urine,
Venkattapuram and Sellimuthu (2012). This effect
may harm people taking certain medicines such
as lithium. Diuretics can impair your body’s ability
to remove lithium, causing serious side effects,
Zaworski et al., (2017). Although pumpkin is
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3995
healthy, many pumpkin-based junk foods - such
as lattés, candies and pie fillings - are loaded with
added sugar. They do not offer the same health
benefits as consuming the fruit.
Discussion
The general chemical compositions and select
bioactive components, including tocopherols,
carotenoids, and β-sitosterol, were analyzed in 3
pumpkin species (C. pepo, C. moschata, and C.
maxima) grown in Asian country, and also in 3
parts (peel, flesh, and seed) of the pumpkin. C.
maxima had significantly more carbohydrates in
the flesh than C. pepo and C. moschata. This high
carbohydrate concentration may contribute to the
sweet taste of C. maxima. Because of its sweet
taste, C. maxima is called “Danhobak” in some
Asian literature such as Korean, “Dan” meaning
“sweet” and “hobak” meaning “pumpkin.” The C.
maxima flesh and peel had significantly more
protein than C. pepo or C. moschata. C. pepo
seeds had significantly more protein than C.
maxima seeds. One group researchers found 20-
25% more protein in the C. pepo seeds than
reported in other studies, Scheerens et al., (1991),
Lazos (1992), Vasconcellos et al., (1981), but 37-
44% less protein than reported by Idouraine et al.,
(1996). Same group found 43.99-52.43% fat in the
seeds, which is higher than the 24.2-45.1%
reported for four Cucurbita species (C. moschata,
C. maxima, C. pepo, and C. argyrosperma) grown
in a common garden of Missouri, USA, Applequist
et al., (2006) and the 22-35% reported in African
C. pepo, Younis (2000). C. pepo had the most
moisture in all parts, and C. maxima had the
lowest. The moisture contents in the current study
were similar to previous reports for C. maxima
(87.6%) and C. moschata (92.3%), Kim et al.,
(2005).
Each pumpkin part in this study contained a
significant amount of antioxidants, tocopherols,
and carotenoids. Therefore, pumpkin potentially
has antioxidant activity, which might be important
for pre-diabetics, diabetics, and patients with
vascular injury, Yadav et al., (2010). Administering
pumpkin extract significantly increased superoxide
dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities in
mouse liver, Chang et al., (2004). Diets high in
pumpkin seeds have been associated with lower
risks of gastric, breast, lung, and colorectal
cancers, Huang et al., (2004). The carotenoids in
pumpkin flesh might prevent prostate cancer, Jian
et.al (2005). In addition to fat-soluble antioxidants
(tocopherols and carotenoids), C. maxima had 16
mg vitamin C per 100 g raw pumpkin, (National
Rural Living Science Institute, 2006). Vitamin C is
a strong water-soluble antioxidant that protects
cells and cellular components from free radicals
by donating electrons, and regenerating other
antioxidants, such as vitamin E (tocopherols),
Keith et al., (2006). Therefore, high pumpkin
intake has various benefits to improve overall
health. Currently, pumpkins are consumed as
vegetables and medicines in many countries,
such as China, Argentina, India, Mexico, Brazil,
the US, and Korea. It is commonly used to
prevent diabetes and eliminate intestinal
parasites, Caili et al., (2006). In Asian, pumpkins
have been used traditionally to relieve edema
during pregnancy and after delivery. Among the 3
species in this study, extracts of C. maxima and
C. moschata flesh are frequently used as a
medicine in Asian country, Jang et al., (2001).
Although the peels are usually discarded in Asian
countries, they contain much more tocopherols
and carotenoids than the flesh, thus they may
have a domestic use as medicine. β-Sitosterol is a
phytosterol, which are integral components of
plant cell membranes, and are abundant in
vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and grains,
Weihrauch et al., (1978). Phytosterols can lower
both total serum cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol
in humans by inhibiting the absorption of dietary
cholesterol, Piironen et al., (2000), and can
prevent cancer Raicht et al.,(1980). Recently,
plant sterols have been proposed to have other
positive health effects, Awad and Fink (2000). β-
Sitosterol especially is considered a treatment for
benign prostatic hyperplasia, Gossell-Williams et
al., (2006). C. pepo seeds had significantly more
β-sitosterol (383.89 ± 48.15 mg/kg raw weight), (P
< 0.05) than C. moschata and C. maxima (277.58
± 23.48 and 235.16 ± 1.44 mg/kg raw weight,
respectively). The β-sitosterol content in C. pepo
in this study was similar to barley (381 mg/kg) and
maize (341 mg/kg), Gossell-Williams et al.,
(2006). Ryan et al., (2007) reported that the β-
sitosterol content in pumpkin seeds was 249
mg/kg, which is similar to C. moschata and C.
maxima in our study. The pumpkin seeds in this
study (cultivated in Korea) had more β-sitosterol
than pumpkin seed oils cultivated in the USA,
Phillips et al., (2005). The high β-sitosterol
contents in this study may result from the
cultivars, growing seasons, and planting locations,
which maximize the phytosterol concentrations in
plants, Phillips et al., (2005). β-Sitosterol might
have broad biological effects including lowering
cholesterol, estrogenic activity, and
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3996
anticarcinogenic activity, Piironen et al., (2000),
Raicht et al.,(1980). Therefore, pumpkin seeds
highly containing β-sitosterol would help maintain
human health.
CONCLUSION
From scientific point of view, the study and
research has revealed a health-promoting
properties of this noble vegetable. Pumpkin is a
rich source of vitamin A and C. It is one of the
best-known sources of the anti-oxidant beta
carotene and it contains good amounts of vitamin
E and the B vitamins and also iron, potassium,
magnesium, and manganese. According to a
report in Medical News Today, eating pumpkin is
good for the heart. The fiber, potassium, and
vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart
health. Research has shown that a diet rich in
beta-carotene has a positive effect in lowering the
risk of cancer, especially prostate and colon
cancer.
Moreover, the amino acid contents were
higher in the seeds than the flesh or peel. Amino
acid contents in C. pepo seeds were higher than
C. moschata and C. maxima. The major fatty
acids were palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic
acid. The α-tocopherol concentration was highest
in C. pepo peel, but the 3 species did not differ
significantly. γ-Tocopherol was detected in the
seeds of all species. There was no significant
difference in β-carotene contents of the flesh and
peel. The β-carotene content in seeds was
highest in C. maxima. C. pepo seeds had
significantly more β-sitosterol than C. moschata
and C. maxima. This study should help updating
nutrient compositions in the Korean food
composition database, as well as estimate more
accurate dietary intake and nutrient adequacies
from food consumption surveys in Korea. Further
research on the nutrient composition of pumpkins
is needed, including analyses of various pumpkins
grown in different years and different countries of
Asia.
From a religious point of view, it is obvious
that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is not the first prophet
among the prophets to eat pumpkin and to show
its health benefits and advantage over other
vegetables or foods. When the Prophet Yunus
(Jonah) was thrown out of the whale that had
swallowed him and when he was washed on the
shore, he found a pumpkin plant which helped
heal him. The plant provided shade for him; its
leaves had medicinal properties which helped
heal his wounds and skin sores which had
developed from the acidity in the whale’s
stomach. And he ate from the pumpkin, which is a
nutrient-dense food. Eating the pumpkin helped
Prophet Yunus recuperate and recover.
In summary, the antioxidants vitamin C,
vitamin E, and beta-carotene, all of which
pumpkin has, have been shown to support eye
health and prevent degenerative damage. Plant
foods like pumpkins that are high in both vitamin
C and beta-carotene boost the immune system.
There are several reasons to be eating pumpkin:
the significant health benefits, to follow the
tradition and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad
(s.a.w.), and to take advantage of the fresh
bounties of Allah (SWT) that the autumn season
has to offer. It is found that the smooth, slightly
sweet taste of cooked pumpkin is actually quite
delicious. Pumpkin is also considered a versatile
vegetable and it can be used to make delicious
soups, stews, cakes and muffins, and of course
the famous pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are highly
advisable to consumed as a vegetables and
medicines as like some advance countries using,
such as China, Argentina, India, Mexico, Brazil,
the US and Korea in God believing
countries/religious dominant countries, such as
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Jordan, Qatar,
Oman, Brunei, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan,
Indonesia, Morocco, and Algeria etc.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declared that present study was
performed in absence of any conflict of interest.
ACKNOWLEGEMENT
The authors are grateful to be sponsored by
internal research grant for financial support.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
MMR and HI were performed the
experiments, analyzed the data, and prepared the
manuscript, MAT, FJ, MMR and HI edited the
manuscript critical data analyzed and MAT,
WMNS and FJ has given financial supported. HI
and MMR designed experiments and reviewed the
manuscript. All authors read and approved the
final version.
Copyrights: © 2019 @ author (s).
This is an open access article distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original author(s) and source are
credited and that the original publication in this
Rahman et al., Prophetic vegetable pumpkin, its impressive health benefits and total analysis
Bioscience Research, 2019 volume 16(4): 3987-3999 3997
journal is cited, in accordance with accepted
academic practice. No use, distribution or
reproduction is permitted which does not comply
with these terms.
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... In addition, they are also good sources of minerals, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, and health-benefiting vitamins. Decreasing sodium intake and consuming adequate potassium is important for treating high blood pressure (Rahman et al. 2019). Pumpkin seeds are generally consumed as a raw, cooked, or roasted form which is enriched with minerals mainly zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. ...
... The tocopherol and carotenoid content of pumpkin are shown in Table 3. A decrease in risk and progression of age-related macular degeneration has been shown with a higher intake (3 or more servings per day) (Rahman et al. 2019). Different pumpkin extracts containing antioxidant activity helps in the treatment of diabetics, vascular injury, etc. (Yadav et al. 2010). ...
... Tocopherol and carotenoid analysis in various parts of pumpkin in C. pepo and C. moschata Not Determined (According toRahman et al. 2019) ...
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... Pumpkin represents an excellent meal when you want to lose weight or to protect the skin from sun, because the native β-carotene and vitamin E (tocopherols) reduce skin damage, slow the aging process, reduce the risk of developing cataracts, and prevent tumor growth. Vitamin C, E and betacarotene have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage [34]. ...
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Plant products have been used for millennia as a medicine in human nutrition. The popularity of pumpkin consumed as both food and medicine in traditional medicine for several diseases (antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antitumor, immunomodular, antibacterial, antihypercholesterolemic, intestinal antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic) have focused the attention of several researchers on it. Pumpkin is an important source of carotenoids, a variety of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, useful fibers, so it has a high therapeutic and health care function with great nut ritional and technological potential. This review will focus on chemical composition, nutritional properties and health and medicinal benefits of the pumpkin.
... According to the report of Burkill in the useful Plants of West Tropical Africa, the whole (leaf shoot, fruit, seed and flower) has found use as food, in medicine, cosmetics, arts, musical instrument, games, toys etc [3]. Pumpkin is scientifically a fruit due to its seed content though it is regarded as a vegetable with high vitamins and minerals, a source of antioxidants; betacryptoxanthin and beta and alpha-carotene [4]. The level of anti-nutrients is lower than is obtained in most other Nigerian vegetables [5]. ...
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A study of the Physico-chemical and functional properties of pumpkin / wheat flour blends and sensory attributes of cakes made from the flour blends where evaluated in the food science laboratory of Rivers State University. The physico-chemical analysis were carried out using standard AOAC methods with 100% wheat flour serving as control. Result of chemical analysis of wheat/pumpkin composite flour blends ranged from 6 .51 – 11.78%, 0.58 – 6.74%, 5.81 – 11.97%, 0.90 – 1.56%, 0.51 – 6.93% and 72.22 – 73.68% for moisture, ash, protein, fat, crude fiber and carbohydrate, respectively. There was a decrease in moisture, fat, protein and carbohydrate and an increase in ash, and crude fiber as the level of pumpkin flour substitution increased. Starch, amylose and amylopectin ranged from 37.68 – 83.82%, 8.76 – 24.64 % and 28.92 – 59.18%, respectively. The lowest starch (37.68%) content was recorded in pumpkin flour made entirely of pumpkin. Depending on the mixing ratios between flour and pumpkin flour, a wide range of functional properties were recorded, including 1.04 – 5.30 ml/g water absorption capacity, 0.58 – 0.61 g/ml bulk density, 8.50 – 16.50% least gelation concentration, 1.07 – 54.26% foaming capacity, 0.00 – 27.84% foaming stability, 53.71 – 93.33% swelling capacity, 45.46 – 48.49% emulsion capacity and 35.50 – 56.02% emulsion stability. Sensory evaluation of the cakes showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in general acceptability between the control and up to 70% substitution with pumpkin flour. The scores ranged from 2.61 – 8.22, 4.13 – 7.13, 5.04 – 7.70, 3.87 – 7.70 and 2.74 – 7.83 for taste, appearance, colour, mouthfeel and general acceptability respectively. Incorporation of pumpkin flour to wheat flour increased the ash and crude fiber content of the composite flour.
... It is widely known vegetable for its fruit commonly famous as Pumpkin. In many parts of India and other countries other parts of the plant like leaves are consumed as a cooked vegetable or in the form of soups (Rahman et al., 2019). Leaves are widely consumed in the tract of Odisha, Jharkhand region. ...
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Chapter
Pumpkin fruits are increasingly considered as "functional food" endowed with important nutritional and bioactive compounds providing several health benefits. Different pumpkin fruit fractions (seeds, peels and flesh) are nutritionally balanced sources of dietary antioxidants as well as various vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolics. The intake of those compounds has beneficial effects on human health. Consumption of pumpkin is conversely correlated with the development of various diseases or their symptoms through mechanisms, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore the endeavor of this was to summarize the significance of bioactive compounds in pumpkin fruit and the related health benefit following their consumption.
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Lutein and zeaxanthin (L/Z) are the predominant carotenoids which accumulate in the retina of the eye. The impact of L/Z intake on the risk and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the developed world, has been investigated in cohort studies and clinical trials. The aims of this review were to critically examine the literature and evaluate the current evidence relating to L/Z intake and AMD, and describe important food sources and factors that increase the bioavailability of L/Z, to inform dietary models. Cohort studies generally assessed L/Z from dietary sources, while clinical trials focused on providing L/Z as a supplement. Important considerations to take into account in relation to dietary L/Z include: nutrient-rich sources of L/Z, cooking methods, diet variety and the use of healthy fats. Dietary models include examples of how suggested effective levels of L/Z can be achieved through diet alone, with values of 5 mg and 10 mg per day described. These diet models depict a variety of food sources, not only from dark green leafy vegetables, but also include pistachio nuts and other highly bioavailable sources of L/Z such as eggs. This review and the diet models outlined provide information about the importance of diet variety among people at high risk of AMD or with early signs and symptoms of AMD.
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Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with poor prognosis. The association between vitamin A, retinol and carotenoid intake and the risk of pancreatic cancer occurrence remains controversial, and therefore it is necessary to make a meta-analysis to clarify the association between vitamin A, retinol and carotenoid intake and pancreatic cancer risk. In the present study, PubMed and EMBASE databases were used to identify qualified studies. The association between dietary vitamin A, retinol and carotenoids was estimated by pooled odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). It was found that there was an inverse correlation between vitamin A, beta-carotene and lycopene intake and the risk of pancreatic cancer (for vitamin A, pooled OR = 0.85, 95%CI = 0.74-0.97, P = 0.015; for beta-carotene, pooled OR = 0.78, 95%CI = 0.66-0.92, P = 0.003; for lycopene, pooled OR = 0.84, 95%CI = 0.73-0.97, P = 0.020), which was more prominent in case-control study subgroup. In conclusion, dietary vitamin A, beta-carotene and lycopene might inversely correlate with pancreatic cancer.
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Background The possibility that lifestyle factors such as diet, specifically potassium intake, may modify the risk of stroke has been suggested by several observational cohort studies, including some recent reports. We performed a systematic review and meta‐analysis of existing studies and assessed the dose–response relation between potassium intake and stroke risk. Methods and Results We reviewed the observational cohort studies addressing the relation between potassium intake, and incidence or mortality of total stroke or stroke subtypes published through August 6, 2016. We carried out a meta‐analysis of 16 cohort studies based on the relative risk (RR) of stroke comparing the highest versus lowest intake categories. We also plotted a pooled dose–response curve of RR of stroke according to potassium intake. Analyses were performed with and without adjustment for blood pressure. Relative to the lowest category of potassium intake, the highest category of potassium intake was associated with a 13% reduced risk of stroke (RR=0.87, 95% CI 0.80–0.94) in the blood pressure–adjusted analysis. Summary RRs tended to decrease when original estimates were unadjusted for blood pressure. Analysis for stroke subtypes yielded comparable results. In the spline analysis, the pooled RR was lowest at 90 mmol of potassium daily intake (RRs=0.78, 95% CI 0.70–0.86) in blood pressure–adjusted analysis, and 0.67 (95% CI 0.57–0.78) in unadjusted analysis. Conclusions Overall, this dose–response meta‐analysis confirms the inverse association between potassium intake and stroke risk, with potassium intake of 90 mmol (≈3500 mg)/day associated with the lowest risk of stroke.
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In this study physico-chemical nature and diuretic activity was evaluated to establish the purity and diuretic activity by comparing with the standard acetazolamide. Pulp of Cucurbita maxima is a common cost effective Indian dish, rich in nutrients. Physico-chemical parameters like ash values, extractive values and loss on drying were performed to find the purity. The hydroalcoholic extract was prepared by extracting the powder in soxhlet apparatus for 36 hrs. The laboratory qualitative analysis was done and constituents like carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, flavonoids, alkaloids and vitamin C were found. The two doses of extract (150 and 300 mg/kg) were given to the rats. Group I served as control, Group II served as standard and Group III and IV served as test. Electrolytes and urine volume was measured after 5 hrs of treatment and the same was compared with the control and the standard drug acetazolamide. Physico-chemical parameters were in the limit and the extract shows significant (p<0.01) diuretic activity at the dose of 300 mg/kg when compared with control. Article Info
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Background: Several intervention studies have investigated the relation between potassium intake and blood-pressure, particularly in hypertensive subjects. However, uncertainties still exist about the existence and the amount of such an effect, and about the role of some potential effect-modifiers, including the baseline potassium intake and geographical area. Methods: We carried out a systematic review of the evidence concerning such relation in hypertensive subjects, performing a meta-analysis and a meta-regression of RCT with selective and validated long-term (≥4weeks) potassium supplementation. We also implemented 'unconventional' search strategies in order to identify all potentially interesting studies. Results: Overall, potassium supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure of 4.48mmHg (95% CI 3.07-5.90) and diastolic blood pressure of 2.96mmHg (1.10-4.82). There was little evidence of dose-response relation between blood-pressure decrease and potassium supplementation, as assessed through total achieved potassium intake in the intervention groups, difference in achieved potassium intake, and study duration. However, lower (<90mmol/day) potassium intake at baseline was associated with a higher blood-pressure lowering effect, as were higher sodium intake (particularly ≥4g/day), higher sodium-to-potassium ratio and the absence of any anti-hypertensive drug treatment. Trials conducted in Southern Europe showed the highest blood-pressure lowering effect compared with the remaining regions. Conclusions: Potassium supplementation in hypertensives was generally associated with decreased blood pressure, particularly in high sodium consumers, subjects not on hypertensive drug treatment, and those in the lowest category of potassium intake. An adequate dietary intake of potassium, in the order of 90mmol/day, should be achieved for blood pressure control.
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Cucurbita moschata Duch. has long been used for traditional health food in many countries. However, influence to enhance the immune system of Cucurbita moschata Duch. and its major component, β-carotene is not clear. Here, we determined the immune enhancement effect of Cucurbita moschata Duch. and β-carotene in mouse splenocytes and RAW 264.7 macrophage cell line. We prepared baked Cucurbita moschata Duch. (Sweetme Sweet PumpkinTM, SSP) and steamed Cucurbita moschata Duch. (SC). Splenocytes isolated from the spleen of BALB/c mice were treated with SSP, SC, and β-carotene for 24 h. RAW 264.7 cells were stimulated with recombinant interferon-γ (rIFN-γ) for 6 h before treatment with SSP, SC, or β-carotene. SSP, SC, and β-carotene significantly up-regulated the proliferation of splenocyte and mRNA expression of KI-67. The levels of interleukin-2 and IFN-γ were up-regulated by SSP, SC, or β-carotene in the splenocytes. SC and β-carotene also increased the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the splenocytes. In addition, SSP, SC, or β-carotene significantly increased the levels of TNF-α through the nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor-κB and phosphorylation of IκBα in the rIFN-γ-primed RAW 264.7 cells. These data indicate that Cucurbita moschata Duch. and β-carotene may have an immune-enhancing effect through the production of Th1 cytokines by activation of splenocytes and macrophages.
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Plant sterols are an essential component of the membranes of all eukaryotic organisms. They are either synthesised de novo or taken up from the environment. Their function appears to be to control membrane fluidity and permeability, although some plant sterols have a specific function in signal transduction. The phytosterols are products of the isoprenoid pathway. The dedicated pathway to sterol synthesis in photosynthetic plants occurs at the squalene stage through the activity of squalene synthetase. Although the activity of 3-hydroxymethyl-3-glutaryl coenzyme A (HGMR) is rate-limiting in the synthesis of cholesterol, this does not appear to be the case with the plant sterols. Up-regulation of HGMR appears to increase the biosynthesis of cycloartenol but not the Delta(5)-sterols. A decline in sterol synthesis is associated with a suppression of squalene synthetase activity, which is probably a critical point in controlling carbon flow and end-product formation. The major post-squalene biosynthetic pathway is regulated by critical rate-limiting steps such as the methylation of cycloartenol into cycloeucalenol. Little is known about the factors controlling the biosynthesis of the end-point sterol esters or stanols. The commonly consumed plant sterols are sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol which are predominantly supplied by vegetable oils. The oils are a rich source of the steryl esters. Less important sources of sterols are cereals, nuts and vegetables. The nutritional interest derives from the fact that the sterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, and have the capacity to lower plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Since the morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease have been dramatically reduced using cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins), the interest in plant sterols lies in their potential to act as a natural preventive dietary product. Stanols (saturated at C-5) occur in low amounts in the diet and are equally effective in lowering plasma cholesterol and do not cause an increase in plasma levels, unlike the sterols which can be detected in plasma. (C) 2000 Society of Chemical Industry.
Article
Background: Plumbum (Pb) is a heavy metal widely existed, which would affect the antioxidative enzymic system of the body, and to decrease the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and thereby to damage liver, kidney and brain, etc. Pumpkin has wide applicable merit in preventing diabetes, against hyperlipemia, preventing cancer and eliminating heavy metal poising, etc. Objective: To investigate the changes of antioxidative enzymic system induced by Pb in mouse as well as the effect of Pumpkin Distillable Subject (PKD) on antioxidation enzymic system. Design: A randomized controlled study. Setting, participants and interventions: Our study was conducted in animal laboratory of the Faculty of Public Health of Harbin Medical University. 60 purebred male healthy Kunming mice were obtained from the Experimental Animal Center of China Pharmaceutical Biological Product Analysis Institute, which were allocated into normal control group (control group), Pb management group (Pb group) and combined management group (PKD group). Mice in control group drank normal water, mice in Pumpkin group drank water that polluted by Pb to establish Plumbism model and then provided with PKD, and mice in Pb group only drank Pb-polluted water without PKD management. All animals were executed after 4 weeks for drawing bloods and taking liver, which would be prepared into homogenate. The activities of SOD, GSH-Px as well as the content of MDA in serum and hepatic homogenate were assayed. Main outcome measures: The activities of SOD, GSH-Px as well as the content of MDA in serum and hepatic homogenate in mice of each group were assayed. Results: The serous and hepatic activities of SOD, GSH-Px in mice of PKD group were significantly higher than that of Pb group (q = 7.83, 6.01, P < 0.01), but the concentrations of MDA were significantly lower that that of Pb group (q = 6.75, 6.51, P < 0.01). The serous and hepatic activities of SOD and GSH-Px in mice of Pb group[(3 746.42 ± 669.30) μkat/L, (702.64 ± 139.36) nkat/g]were significantly lower than that[(6 242.92 ± 940.02) μkat/L, (1 098.05 ± 196.37) nkat/g] of control group (q = 7.90, 5.59, P < 0.01). Conclusion: Plumbism could induce peroxidative injury in mouse. PKD could reduce the lipid peroxidation induced by Pb and increase antioxidative ability in mice.