Eating ‘sweet pumpkin’ in the morning, changes in aging and lungs?

Slows aging and improves lung function… rich in beta-carotene with anti-cancer effects

The methionine component of sweet pumpkin helps to discharge waste and toxic substances accumulated in the body. [사진=국립농업과학원]

Sweet pumpkin is a Western-style pumpkin that is mainly steamed and eaten as a healthy food. A similar thing is an old pumpkin. It is made by ripening ordinary pumpkin, and the skin is ocher-colored and the flesh is red. Compared to sweet pumpkins in size, old pumpkins are much larger and can be easily distinguished. Sweet pumpkins are sweet like chestnuts and are also called ‘night pumpkins’. Eating it in the morning can help relieve facial swelling.

◆ Swelling relief, waste discharge… Aging delay, lung function improvement, etc.

Sweet pumpkin helps to relieve puffiness on the face or body. The methionine component has the effect of discharging waste and toxic substances accumulated in the body. It also has many beta-carotene components that slow down aging, improve lung function, and have anti-cancer effects (National Institute of Agricultural Sciences-National Cancer Information Center). This ingredient is closely related to vitamin A, helping to maintain the health of cells and eyes and protect the skin. However, beta-carotene is known to be bad for the lungs when smokers consume it in supplement form in excess. However, it is not easy to overconsume with food.

◆ Rich in protein… Muscle maintenance, blood pressure control, cholesterol release

Sweet pumpkin has a high protein content of 1.6 to 1.9%. Eating it often helps maintain muscle mass. It is also rich in vitamins and contains many nutrients such as calcium. In particular, potassium has the effect of preventing high blood pressure by suppressing the activation of the salty component (sodium) in the body and promoting discharge in the blood. Dietary fiber (fiber) has the ability to discharge cholesterol directly.

◆ “Pumpkin seeds, don’t throw them away”… Helps with blood vessel health and brain activity

Pumpkin seeds are high in unsaturated fatty acids. It is easy to understand if you think of it as opposed to many saturated fatty acids such as meat fat. Unlike saturated fatty acids, which are bad for blood-vascular health, unsaturated fatty acids help blood circulation by reducing neutral fat and cholesterol in the blood. It helps prevent vascular disease (stroke, heart disease) in which blood vessels are blocked following arteriosclerosis, in which blood vessels are narrowed. Lecithin ingredient has a good effect on memory enhancement and brain activity.

◆ Domestic sweet pumpkin… what to eat

In order to compensate for the disadvantages of domestic sweet pumpkin cultivation in general land, a lot of deok-cultivation (tunnel cultivation) is practiced in which pipes are driven into the ground and covered with nets. The most cultivated is the ‘Danbis’ variety, which weighs 1.7 to 1.9 kg and has light green spots on a dark green background. The flesh is greenish yellow, the flesh is slightly sticky and tastes good. ‘Super Geumbis’ is dark green on the outside, and the stripes are barely visible. It is the largest among sweet pumpkins and has excellent taste.

◆ How to choose?… Evenly colored, thick and hard

When buying sweet pumpkins, choose ones that are evenly dark in color, hard, and heavy for their size. Pumpkins whose sugar content has increased through post-ripening tend to have dry tops. If the green light remains on the top, the sugar content will increase only after a post-ripening period. When peeling a sweet pumpkin, peeling it off after cooking makes it easier to remove. If storing for a long time, scrape out the seeds and contents, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer.

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