A Guide to Types and Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a part of the squash family that is usually round, large and has a vibrant orange color. In addition to this, pumpkins have a slightly ribbed, tough, and smooth outer skin. Inside the pumpkin, there are flesh and seeds. When cooked, you can eat the whole pumpkin, including the skin, pulp, and seeds. However, you need to remove the stringy bits that hold the seeds in place.

80 grams of pumpkin (about three heaped tbsps. diced and cooked) is considered as one portion of your five-a-day.

Common Terms Related to Pumpkins

  • Flesh

The inside of a pumpkin (used for cooking).

  • Skin

The outside of a pumpkin (colored part).

  • Carvability

The ability of the pumpkin to get carved easily with a knife or pumpkin-carving kit. If it isn’t fairly easy to carve, then it is suited for painting or just leaving as it.

  • Ribbing

Ribbing is the vertical stripes on a pumpkin that indicate it is a pumpkin and not some other round fruit or vegetable.

  • Texture

Glide your fingers across the pumpkin’s skin. Is it smooth, slightly rough, or bumpy? That is the pumpkin’s texture.

  • Shape

Pumpkins aren’t just round in shape – they come in various shapes, including long, curvy, tall, squat, uneven, and more.

  • Size

Pumpkins come in all sizes – be it miniature, small, medium, large, extra-large, etc.

  • Keeps well

This term describes the shelf life of a pumpkin. For example, whether it tends to last a few months or would get spoiled (uncarved).

Note: Not all these terms/characteristics belong to each of the following types of pumpkins.

Types of Pumpkins

1. Cucurbita

This one is the genus of squashes, pumpkins, and some gourds. There are five most common species of Cucurbita:

  1. Ficifolia (chilacayote squash and Malabar gourd)
  2. Mixta (cushaw squash)
  3. Maxima (Hubbard, ‘Lakota,’ buttercup, and winter squashes)
  4. Moschata (‘Long Island Cheese’and ‘Shakertown Field’ pumpkins)
  5. Pepo (jack-o’-lantern varieties,delicata squashes, ornamental gourds).

They all vary in looks, just like their names. All have different sizes and shapes. Some of them may even weigh a ton. They are edible and ornamental fruits of fall that you can opt for instead of the standard orange pumpkin that is found everywhere.

2. Jack Be Little

As adorable as their name, these miniature, palm-size, edible pumpkins become more uniformly orange as they ripen. They are one of the best choices for individual table sitting decorations or decorating in congested places.

3. Rouge VifD’Etampes

This classic heirloom is considered as the most famous pumpkin in Parisian markets of the 1880s by famous French seed house, Vilmorin. The name translates to “Vivid red from Etampes.” It was first grown for the market in the medieval town just south of Paris.

It was W. Atlee Burpee who introduced this pumpkin to U.S gardeners in the year 1883. It is known for its attractive shape and color. Therefore, people use it for decoration purposes for autumn displays.

4. Field Trip F1 Hybrid

Having long, sturdy stems, these orange gourds can weigh in around five to seven pounds each. They make a perfect choice for kids to grab and go.

5. Baby Boo Pumpkin

This one is another miniature variety of pumpkins. These ghostly white beauties are an excellent choice for creating a decorative holiday or seasonal display with a lot of contrasting colors. They can easily be distinguished by their long and distinct handles, warm shade of green, along with their bright-white hue.

The best thing about Baby Boo pumpkins is that their color won’t easily change because of sun or frost.

6. Long Island Cheese

This pumpkin got its name because of its color that resembles a pale cheese. It is medium in size and typically weighs about ten pounds. Long Island Cheese pumpkins are known for their sweeter taste. Moreover, it has a long history that dates back to the 19th century.

7. Fairytale

Also known as musquee de Provence, Fairytale pumpkins are heavily lobed and quite popular. They are adored by the chefs due to their sweet, creamy flavor.

8. Tandy F1 Hybrid

This one is an understated variety of pumpkins that has pale butternut-colored skin and is slightly oval. Moreover, it has a strong green stem.

9. Galeuxd’Eysines

This one is a beautiful French heirloom that produces a flattened globed pumpkin with salmon-peach skin. The shell-like bumps on this pumpkin are caused by the buildup of sugar beneath its skin.

10. Black Futsu

Black Futsu is a rear Japanese specialty that is recognized by its unique black skin and nutty flavor. It has a bright orange flesh that is firm, sweet, and buttery roasted. When they are ripened, the green halo between the flesh and skin disappears, and the skin turns from black to chestnut.

11. Cotton Candy

It won’t be wrong if we call this type of pumpkins the glowing ghosts of the pumpkin world. They have white flesh under their stark white skin that looks attractive to the eye.

12. Warty Goblin F1 Hybrid

This type of pumpkin has lurid, lumpy warts that you can see on their shiny skin.

Health Benefits of Pumpkins

  • Make you Feel Fuller

Each pumpkin seeds contain about 1.7 grams of fiber, while mashed pumpkin has up to 3 grams of fiber per cup. 30 to 50 grams of fiber intake is required by an average adult. But unfortunately, most people only get about half of that or less. Thanks to the fiber content present in the winter squash like pumpkin, you can easily hit your daily dietary fiber needs.

Secondly, filling your body with fiber increases satiation and helps you feel fuller longer. Hence, consuming pumpkins can slow down the digestion process and regulate your blood sugar levels.

  • Make Your Heart Healthy

Along withsatiating you, the fiber present in pumpkins can also help protect you from heart disease. According to a study conducted on 67,000 women over ten years, it was concluded that a diet high in fiber intake reduces the risk of heart disease.

  • Increase Your Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer. So common that one man out of seven is likely to get this cancer in the USA. A person who is diagnosed with prostate cancer shows much less zinc in the body compared to a healthy individual. Pumpkins are rich in zinc; they contain up to 2mg per ounce, which can contribute to the prevention of prostate cancer.

  • A Rich Source of Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by our body in several physiological functions, such as the creation of ATP (the energy molecules of your body), muscle growth, relaxation of the nervous system, and regulating bowel movements.

Consuming only 1 gram of pumpkin seeds fulfil about 30% of your daily recommended magnesium requirement.

  • Keep Your Eyesight Sharp

Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins that is crucial for your eyesight. The good news is that only a cup of pumpkin will help you meet your daily vitamin A requirements.

  • Help in Regulating Your Blood Pressure

Pumpkins are a rich source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C that all support heart health.

According to the results of a 2017 study conducted on 2,722 participants, it was suggested that consuming enough potassium may be as important as decreasing the amount of sodium in the treatment of high blood pressure.

  • Help Treat Hypertension

Again, potassium present in pumpkins is crucial for lowering blood pressure. You can consume unsalted pumpkin seeds that will help raise HDL cholesterol levels in your body.

  • Help Trim Your Tummy

Pumpkins are low in calories and high in fiber, which means you can add a portion of this fruit in your diet without adding any extra calories.

Final Words

Pumpkins aren’t just used for ornamental purposes on Halloweens or other events, but also consumed for their several health benefits. You can easily incorporate pumpkins in your diet in several forms, such as seeds, canned, cooked, raw, or a casserole or cookie.

We hope that you like this guide to the benefits and types of pumpkins. And yes, don’t forget to share it with your loved ones who are as health-conscious as you.