Blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels are key components in the blood that generally reflect dietary habits. When these levels become too high, a person is at risk at developing certain diseases or having a heart attack or stroke. Although genetic predispositions and medications also factor in to the ability to stabilize these levels, a healthy diet with certain types of foods can also play a role in controlling them. One excellent food for managing these levels: pumpkin.
Pumpkin is a versatile gourd with high-fiber flesh and edible seeds. The flesh is full of Vitamin A and other minerals like iron and zinc. Additionally, the meat of a pumpkin is high in carotenoids. Raw pumpkin is therefore an excellent choice for consuming more blood stabilizing nutrients. Perhaps the most delicious way to incorporate pumpkin in an everyday diet is to blend it into a drink or smoothie.
Recipes with Raw Pumpkin
Pumpkin smoothies are easy to make and require very few ingredients. Try this recipe to see how delicious healthy, raw pumpkin can actually be:
-1/2 cup pumpkin, cubed
-3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
-1/8 t nutmeg
-1/4 t cinnamon
-2 t brown sugar
-4 ice cubes
1. Combine the pumpkin, yogurt (or substitute with milk), nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, and ice cubes in a blender and blend on a Medium setting.
2. Blend the mixture for approximately 2 minutes, or however long it takes for the mixture to become creamy.
What Makes Raw Pumpkin So Effective
There are many components of this simple smoothie that are useful for healthy blood levels. For one, fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, and blue in color are known to contain high levels of antioxidants and soluble fiber. The raw pumpkin therefore provides these nutrients in the smoothie. These nutrients, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, have been proven to lower cholesterol levels. Combined with cinnamon, which according to the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” lowers cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and serum glucose, this smoothie recipe is perfect for managing healthy blood levels.
Another way of consuming raw pumpkin that has been used to treat blood levels is to simply blend it with water. By peeling about 100 grams of pumpkin daily and blending it, raw, with water, high cholesterol and other damaging blood levels can be kept at bay. One cup of raw pumpkin contains 8567 IU of vitamin A, an antioxidant. This level of concentration is far more than the USDA recommended daily consumption – and at only 30 calories, none of which are from fat. These properties of raw pumpkin are therefore also very useful to diabetics, as they help manage insulin and glucose levels in the bloodstream.
More Than Just the Flesh
The seeds are also useful in managing blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Their amino acids assist in sleep, their mineral content is key to heart health, pumpkin seed protein stabilizes blood sugar, and various compounds in them help manage blood pressure. Adding some seeds as a garnish to a meal or drink is an excellent way to incorporate even more blood stabilizing nutrients.
If you have had issues with unstable blood sugar, cholesterol, triglyceride, or other key blood levels, consider what lifestyle changes you can make to protect yourself. Sometimes, the solution is easier than it may seem and changes will occur quickly with diligence. Rather than reaching for a pill bottle when attempting to manage blood levels, consider trying the natural alternative and drink some raw pumpkin. It’s a healthy way to make improvements and quickly.