Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin for People and Pets

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Pumpkins are often associated with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.  Be they carved, or turned into a pie, people sometimes forget that pumpkins have many health benefits, not just for people, but for pets too.  Sometimes, after the holidays, pumpkins can be purchased cheaply, these are well worth getting for the simple fact that they are extremely healthy and can be used in many ways.

What is a Pumpkin?

A pumpkin is a large gourd, they need water and heat to grow to their full size.  Most are orange, but a few varieties are yellow, or white.  As a general rule the more colorful the pumpkin, the more health benefits it will have.  The more water a pumpkin gets, the larger they grow, as a result pumpkins are mostly water!

sheep eating pumpkin

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Alpha carotene in pumpkins is said to slow the aging process and may help prevent cataracts from forming.

Pumpkins are high in beta carotene, as such they have been shown to help prevent eye problems, as well beta carotene is linked to reducing some cancers, such as prostate cancer.

Another health benefit of the pumpkin is that they have lots of fiber, which can reduce bad cholesterol levels, and can help protect against heart disease. The fiber makes the pumpkins very good to aid digestion and relieve constipation problems in people, and animals.  The fiber is good to help pets that suffer from the build up of hair in their stomach, such as cats and rabbits, a less than a teaspoon of pumpkin is required to aid the problem of hairballs and hair impaction.*  

Pumpkins have lots of potassium which is great for dealing with health issues such as hypertension.

Vitamin B5 in pumpkin helps reduce stress and keeps hormone levels regulated.

Pumpkins contain zinc, important in skin health, preventing osteoporosis, and boosting immunity.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds themselves are said to help eliminate some intestinal worms in people and animals.

Pumpkin seed oil is very good for the skin, and can be applied topically to help heal cuts.

Pumpkin seed oil can also be rubbed onto the skin and is said to help with arthritis.

Applied on the face, and hands, pumpkin seed oil is said to reduce wrinkles and slow the signs of aging.

Additional Information about Pumpkins

Pumpkins are native to North America.

If you wish to grow large pumpkins you must only allow one pumpkin per plant, and break off all others, as well you will need to provide lots of water.  Some types of pumpkins grow larger than others.

*Note that while you can feed actual pumpkin to your pets, or canned pumpkin, you should not feed them canned pumpkin pie filing.  Cats who are prone to urinary tract problems should not be fed pumpkin regularly as the high magnesium content can make problems worse.

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