Though, most people like to eat it cooked or roasted. But can you eat raw pumpkin as well? Yes, you can. So, let’s know why and how.
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds have been an important part of curries, pies, cookies, and many other flavored recipes. This vegetable is packed with a variety of nutrients and you can take advantage of pumpkin throughout the year.
Raw pumpkin is full of nutritional content. However, the raw pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are somewhat different in nutrition as compared to their cooked recipes.
Even, cooking reduces the content of various nutrients like water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C.
The most abundant nutrient found in raw pumpkin is vitamin A. It also contains high levels of potassium that helps in reducing the risk of hypertension.
A cooked recipe of pumpkin can lower the amounts of vitamin A, potassium, and copper. However, they taste well after cooking. On the other hand, raw pumpkin is slightly rich in vitamins and minerals, which doesn’t make it tasty and appetizing.
Even so, raw pumpkins have more antinutrients with fewer antioxidants than their cooked form.
Antinutrients are plant derivatives that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients. They can be natural or manufactured. For instance soybeans, spinach, whole grains, broccoli, tea, nuts, lentils, etc. contain antinutrients.
Raw Pumpkin Benefits
Good for weight loss
As raw pumpkin consists of fibers, it is very good for digestive health. Did you know 200g of pumpkin curbs only 26 calories? Hence, a pumpkin is not something you should cut on.
Pumpkin is also a rich source of potassium which makes it best for post-workout food.
A 100 g of pumpkin curbs 340 mg of potassium, higher than a banana generally contains.
Also, according to the Ayurveda, it is consists of two main elements Vata (air) and pitta (fire). Both the elements are excellent for weight loss as they help in metabolism.
Being rich in high-level vitamins such as vitamin C boost up your immunity as well. Good immunity makes you fit and keeps you active.
It too has tryptophan which are the amino acids that raise your mood and reduces stress at the same time. So, a good mood is not less than a bonus point from eating a pumpkin.
Improves constipation and colon health
Pumpkin also works as a laxative being high in fiber. Which helps in relieving constipation. Fiber is essential for your colon health. The academy of nutrition and dietetics, an average person needs 25-38g of fiber daily to prevent constipation and digestive illness.
Constipation is a condition that makes stools hard and painful to pass. With less than three bowel motions per week, it can progress from mild to chronic.
Pumpkin is a great veggie to prevent such issues for having two nutrients: fiber and magnesium. People with constipation often lack this mineral. Therefore, both together lead to better bowel movements.
Magnesium is an important nutrient as it regulates nerve function. It manages blood and sugar levels as well.
Improves heart health
Being highly rich in antioxidants, it helps in preventing heart-related issues. Due to a good level of potassium, it serves a heart-healthy benefit. One cup of pumpkin has 16% of the daily required potassium.
Moreover, plant sterols in pumpkin lower the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. And omega-3 fatty acids help in minimizing blood fats or triglycerides and blood pressure.
Related article: life-changing ways to improve cholesterol levels
One cup of pumpkin contains only 50 calories. What else do you need? Also, the high fiber content keeps you full and controls your hunger pangs. Hence, it’s a good veggie if you want to lose some pounds.
Abundant in vitamins
Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, and K. These are all water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin A is the essential vitamin for strong immunity and good vision. As well as the other vitamins are essential for various bodily functions.
Loaded with antioxidants
Pumpkin has a lot of antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, etc. antioxidants prevent your body from being in an oxidative state caused by free radicals.
Pumpkin has high levels of carotenoids which functions as antioxidants. They prevent you from various cancers like heat cancer and so on.
Rich source of vitamin B, C, and copper
These are the heart-healthy factors of the pumpkin. Nutrients like vitamin B, C, and copper are essential elements in controlling heart diseases and cancer.
How Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin?
There are enough ways to eat a raw pumpkin. So, I will tell you some ways to eat it in a better way.
You can eat them pureed and mixed into cottage cheese. Or either can be used as a grated topping for salads and baked foods. Pumpkin works well in soups, sandwiches, salads.
More raw pumpkin recipe options are:-
- Raw pumpkin pie
- Raw pumpkin pudding
- Seasoned raw pumpkin puree
- Raw pumpkin soup
You can experiment with anything according to your taste and style. So, can you eat raw pumpkin? Yes, you can, and with a lot of experiment options.
Side Effects Of Eating Raw Pumpkin
There are no specific side effects of eating raw pumpkins. Pumpkin is a nutrient-rich veggie and gives you a lot of health benefits. Talking to your doctor will be good if you are unsure about adding such a different thing to your diet.
Overall, eating raw pumpkin in a limited quantity is not a bad thing.
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Pumpkin?
Nonetheless, eating raw pumpkin has a lot of benefits, sometimes can be a little weird. Sometimes eating raw foods may cause food poisoning. In the case of pumpkin seeds, it can happen. Eating pumpkin seeds can cause effects like bacteria E.coli.
If one consumes this, the bacteria can cause some illnesses like diarrhea, stomach ache, vomiting, and fever.
Although, the chances of foodborne illness from the pumpkin are rare. The food and drug administration takes proper care to prevent contamination.
Different people have different tastes. While some like cooked pumpkin some likes roasted. Some might want to know if they can eat raw pumpkin. Now we know it so far that yes raw pumpkin has also similar effects as cooked one. If eaten in limited quantity, raw pumpkin serves loads of nutritional benefits.
Raw pumpkins are vitamin abundant, treats bowel movements, good for weight loss, and are enriched with antioxidants.
Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, you can eat raw pumpkin seeds, but they taste well roasted. Raw pumpkin seeds are highly nutritive and rich in antioxidants. They are also good for heart health.
Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Puree ?
Yes, you can eat raw pumpkin puree. Even, you can experiment with recipes according to your taste and style.
Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds With Shell?
Yes, raw pumpkin seeds can be eaten with shells or without shells. Eating seeds with shells have a high fiber content which reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds When Pregnant?
Yes, pregnant women can eat pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are highly rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is essential for the development of the fetus as well as the brain and eyes.
Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Pie Filling?
Raw pumpkin can be eaten in any form which you like. However, raw pumpkin’s taste and texture are different than that of cooked or roasted one. But not in terms of nutritional content. You can eat it in any form.
How To Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?
Slice off the top of the pumpkin. Remove all the seeds with a spoon. The flesh will also come with seeds. Place them in a colander and rinse under cold water and remove flesh from the seeds with your hands. Then, let them dry and pat them with a paper towel.
Put them in an airtight container and use them within 2-3 months.