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Pumpkins Could Help Control Glycemic Levels for Diabetics

pumpkins all in a row

This time of year, we are inundated with images of the humble pumpkin. It’s a lovely gourd / vegetable / berry. (Seriously, a berry!) People use it to carve into Halloween decorations, make tasty pies, cakes, cookies and even flavor coffee. But there’s much more to the pumpkin than all of that. It may even help diabetics control their glycemic levels.

The materials inside pumpkins such as the fruit pulp, oil from ungerminated seeds, and protein from germinated seeds have hypoglycemic properties. These biologically active ingredients—polysaccharides, para-aminobenzoic acid, vegetable oils, sterol, proteins, and peptides—could assist in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, researchers suspect.

Gary Adams from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham is investigating the effect these ingredients have on blood sugar and diabetes, “There are many different types of insulins available to treat diabetes, but there are still physiological consequences for such use. Alternatives are, therefore, required and this includes herbal preparations as well as dietary plants in the form of curcubitaceae (pumpkin).”

The chemical process involved is quite complex, but you can read all about it in the research paper from Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

I wouldn’t expect that it would be healthy to eat tons of pumpkin foods, just for this benefit, but having a bit of pumpkin in your diet might be a great addition for more than its taste. If the research continues, we may see diabetic treatments that are derived from pumpkins in the near future. Stay tuned.

To learn more about pumpkin health benefits check out the full page about Pumpkins and hear a podcast interview with the author of a book about pumpkins from one of my favority podcasts, Ologies, see this earlier post from this site.

Resource Links

Futurity: Can Pumpkins Ward Off Diabetes?

University of Nottingham: Pumpkins can ward off more than evil spirits

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: The Hypoglycemic Effect of Pumpkin Seeds, Trigonelline (TRG), Nicotinic Acid (NA), and D-Chiroinositol (DCI) in Controlling Glycemic Levels in Diabetes Mellitus


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