Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pure Goodness: Pumpkin


Pumpkins. A wonderful gift from nature.

It’s only fair to dedicate an October post to Her Royal Cuteness Pumpkin. It’s funny how one vegetable can suddenly occupy the world and imagination, but really, how much do you know about pumpkin? Read on and find out.





Pumpkin, which is a fruit, in true botanical terms, comes from the Cucurbitaceae family and is related squashes, cucumbers, melons and watermelons, and luffas. The origin of pumpkin is not really known, but the oldest evidence goes back to Mexico where pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 B.C., were found. Pumpkin played such an important role in diet of Native Americans that they buried it with the dead to provide them with nourishment during their final journey.

The word “pumpkin” was generated from the Greek “pepon” (πέπων), which means “large melon”. The French then changed it to a beautiful and oh-so-very-French pompon, which, once it reached Britain, changed into pumpion. It seems that the further away from France it moved the less chic-more cute the name became as the American colonist turned it into pumpkin.




Although pumpkins are usually orange or yellow, some species are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray. The rich yellow colour is derived from the orange pigments including lutein and alpha- and beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant.

Alpha-carotene may reduce the aging process, keep your eyes healthy and reduce chances of cataract development and Beta-carotene is needed in the body to reduce inflammation and may benefit those with asthma and arthritis, slow down cholesterol build-up and prevent stroke.







Pumpkin is also rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange red carotenoid that may reduce risk of lung cancer and is also particularly beneficial for smokers and those exposed to secondary cigarette smoke.

It contains good quantities of vitamin C, yet another antioxidant, potassium, manganese, folate and fibre and small quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, niacin and B5, copper, amino-acid tryptophan that has been found to be effective against depression. Zinc, found in the seeds, is essential for healthy skin, immune system, hormonal balance, metabolism and optimal sense of taste and smell.

Pumpkin is absolutely delicious in soups, it can be roasted and added to risotto or warm winter salads and, of course, there’s always a pumpkin pie that’s I just had to mention for those with a sweet tooth.
by Natalia, of Fashioned by Love

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This article offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. No assurance can be given that the advice contained in this site will always include the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular material. No part of this site, written articles or photographs contained herein, may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without express permission of the copyright holder(s).

Images: 01, 04, 06, 09, 10 The Cherry Blossom Girl | 02, 03, 12, 13, 15 Colin Cooke | 05, 08, 11 (scanned) The New French Décor by Gilles Trillard | 07 House to Home | 14 House to Home

15 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah - wow what a beautiful set of images. So utterly seasonal. I always get the impression that pumpkin is used more for decoration than for food - there is a big pumpkin field near us and they are ripening for Halloween. Not sure people are interested at any other time, but they so should be! If nothing else they are so nice to look at...Lou x

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  2. i love your post!beautiful photos!

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  3. What a beautiful post by Natalie! Thanks for the info and all these gorgeous photographs.

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  4. Beautiful post Natalia; I'm loving this series! The autumnal shades paired with pumpkin are just perfection xx

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  5. I can not imagine autumn without pumpkin, I like it best simply baked, but I also make pumpkin pie (no sugar needed, so it's very healthy too). A wonderful post illustrated so beautifully. :)
    Ada

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  6. Sarah-
    This post is full of beautiful images and some great advice! Thank you for sharing.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  7. Beautiful post, Sarah! I so love autumn. Those butter yellow doors are just delicious! You don't see doors that color very often but now that I see how gorgeous those are, they'll be on my radar for the future!!! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    http://oohlafroufrou.blogspot.com
    This Week: Aimee's Grande Paris Adventure Part III "Pink Champagne Bubbles"

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  8. i love pumpkins, just decorated my table with them! every image here is perfection!! xx

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  9. These pictures make my heart so happy! Leaves, orange, and pumpkin...I love you.

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  10. What a stunning collection of images! It really gives you the mood of Fall. Beautiful!

    Cheers,


    Claudia

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  11. Wow Sarah, what a beautiful and detailed post (as always!) Even though Halloween is not celebrated in Europe half as much as in the US and Canada, I'm determined to keep up certain traditions since I lived there for some time, like having a couple of pumpkins in the hallway, Halloween certainly has to be one of my favourite celebrations. Have a wonderful week! Sara x

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  12. I love your "pure goodness" suggestions. have a nice midweek. Xxxx

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  13. So glad that everyone is enjoying Natalia's post—it is fabulous!

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  14. wish I could live in a place where all autumns are like that. This post made me miss fall even more.

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