Grown throughout the world, this member of the gourd family is believed to be native to the Americas, where they date back in historical record for millennia. Remains of ancient seeds related to the pumpkin have been discovered in Mexico dating as early as 7000 BCE.
All of the pumpkin has long been used the world over as a popular foodstuff. Medicinally, due to its high fiber and protein content, pumpkins have traditionally been employed for digestive issues and vegetarian diets.
In central and eastern Europe, pumpkin seed oil has been long considered a delicacy, and is used in everything from potato salad and soups to ice cream! Halloween’s carved pumpkins are native to North America, where their size and availability replaced the traditional turnip and other gourds by early settlers from the British Isles.
Pumpkin was crucial for the early colonial settlers of New England as an easily accessible source of fermentable sugar needed to brew beer. Pumpkin ale is now a seasonally popular style.
Pumpkin juice reduces wrinkles, and recent research points to anti-cancer and anti-Alzheimer properties.
Pumpkin juice has no cholesterol or saturated fats. Extremely low in calories, pumpkin is abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and antioxidants. Pumpkin is particularly rich in vitamins A, B-complex, C and E which are rich in antioxidants and anti-aging properties.
Vitamin A is extremely important for healthy vision. It also lowers appetite, fights bacterial growth, inhibits viruses and cancer and protects against stroke. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, guards against viruses and bacteria, promotes the healing of wounds and lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol. Vitamin E is essential to skin health, important for the metabolism of Vitamin A, improves the immune system, defends against blood clotting, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, helps prevent atherosclerosis by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and may also protect brain neurons from Alzheimer’s. B-complex vitamins inhibit nerve damage, assist in digestion and muscle development, strengthen the heart, lower ‘bad cholesterol’, assist in the transformation of food to energy, produce hormones linked to less stress, increase sexual performance, lower the risk of birth defects and may also decrease the development of cancer according to recent research.
The minerals in pumpkin juice help maintain a healthy heart, strong bones and teeth, and healthy skin and eyes, and play a crucial role in helping the body store energy and heal damaged tissue and cells.
Pumpkin is particularly rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Recent and ongoing research shows that polyphenols are extremely important in decreasing the risk of skin cancers, premature aging, and the wrinkling of skin by protecting against UV rays; eliminating free radicals, reducing inflammation and fighting eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
The fiber and protein in pumpkin are important for vegetarians and dieters: pumpkin is rich in vegetable protein and the fiber aids digestion and encourages weight loss by creating a sense of ‘fullness.’
Delicious Pumpkin Juice & Smoothie Recipes
The Green Pumpkin
2 cups Pumpkin – cubed, with skin
1 Apple – skin and all or 1 cup apple cider
1” Wheatgrass or 4 leaves of your favorite leafy green such as Collards, Beet Greens, Spinach or Kale
Allspice to taste
More delicious and powerful recipes can be found in Juicing & Smoothie Recipes That Heal! available here in the box on the right and for Kindle, Nook and iPad users at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.