Extremely high in beta carotene, this antioxidant laden vegetable is reputed to help fend off numerous health conditions. The fibre, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health. In a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition they demonstrated a positive relationship between a diet rich in beta-carotene and a reduction in the occurrence of prostate cancer. Increased potassium intake is 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.
In terms of traditional Chinese medicine pumpkin is cooling in nature and sweet in flavour. It can help relieve damp conditions such as eczema, dysentery and oedema. Pumpkin can help regulate blood sugar and would be of benefit to diabetics. Said to promote discharge of mucous from the lungs, bronchi and throat, regular use has also been shown to help bronchial asthma.
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.
According to the The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit Pumpkin pairs with Almond, Apple, Bacon, Blue Cheese, Chestnut, Chilli, Cinnamon, Ginger, Goats Cheese, Lime, Mushroom, Nutmeg, Pork, Rosemary, Sage and shellfish.
Healing With Whole Foods - Paul Pitchford
The Flavour Thesaurus - Nike Segnit