There's no doubt many of us consider the humble pumpkin as a common vegetable but the health benefits of its delicious orange flesh should not be underestimated.
Pumpkin and its close relative, squash, provide antioxidant protection and may lower the risk of cancer.
Several studies of diet and how it relates to cancer showed pumpkin and winter squash are included in the foods eaten more by people who stay cancer free. Foods such as pumpkin and squash that contain high levels of vitamins E and C, carotenes and antioxidants are strongly linked to a reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and cataracts. To help protect against disease foods rich in carotenes should be consumed at least every second day.
Apart from the health benefits of their flesh, pumpkin seeds help prevent bladder stones, support the function of the immune system, assist prostate health, and are a very good source of zinc. Chew seeds well to aid their absorption.
Both pumpkins and winter squashes are resistant to drought and store well for months.