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11 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Leaves, Recipe, Harvesting and Storage

11 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Leaves, Recipe, Harvesting and Storage

It may sound odd to eat pumpkin leaves, but they contain nutrients and are quite tasty.

The plant is said to be secret because most people don’t know what benefits it provides.

Even those who think they know a lot about the plant, know very little.

Leafy vegetables such as pumpkin come from the tropics and they are abundant in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A and K. 

Various soups are made with it in West Africa.

It is indeed possible to eat squash & pumpkin leaves.

Asia and Africa are among the places where this vegetable is commonly consumed.

The flavor is similar to the asparagus, broccoli, green bean and spinach combination.

You will learn the health benefits of pumpkin leaves, how to harvest, prepare and cook pumpkin leaves in this article so that you can make the most of the pumpkin plants.

What Do Pumpkin Leaves Look Like?

Two leaves break through the soil as soon as the pumpkin plant germinates.

They are round, small leaves called sprouts.

These first pumpkin leaves, even though they are not real pumpkin leaves, are an indication your plant is healthy.

Real pumpkin leaves appear in between the two small leaves at the tips of the pumpkin stems.

A pumpkin’s leaves have small spikes covering their surface and are round and flat.

In the garden, pumpkin vines are notoriously tough to control and can quickly fill your space.

You must know if you have ever grown it!

Each pumpkin vine produces a good quantity of leaves, so even if you pick a few for cooking, the plants will continue to grow flowers and pumpkins.

Pumpkin Leaves Images

 

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Also Read: 17 Surprising Benefits of Shallots for Health

11 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Leaves

There are many benefits of consuming pumpkin leaves on a regular basis, listed below are just a few that are worth knowing:

1. Enhance heart health & Lowers Cholesterol

It is considered an excellent remedy for high cholesterol in this day and age.

The leaves of pumpkins contain soluble fiber; as a result, soluble fiber can reduce cholesterol absorption from the intestines, which in turn decreases blood cholesterol levels.

These leaves contain a great deal of fiber, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol and bile acid from the small intestines, effectively lowering cholesterol levels.

Low cholesterol levels made possible by fibers help keep heart disease at bay.

Potassium is another key component of pumpkin leaves, helping to prevent irregular heartbeats and strokes.

2. Boosts Immune System

Organs and processes such as bone marrow, thymus and lymph nodes in the immune system aid the body in resisting infections and toxins.

An abundant amount of iron in these leaves contributes to the body’s strength by improving the immune system.

This enables the body to fight a variety of infectious diseases.

3. Maintains the skin’s softness and suppleness

5.33% (38 µg) of the daily recommended value for Vitamin A is contained in one pumpkin leaf.

Free radicals and toxins that may damage your skin are eliminated when you eat vitamin A-rich foods. I

t is also a rich source of vitamin C. The wound healing, formation of scar tissues, maintaining bone and skin health are all aided by vitamin C.

It prevents dryness, keratinization and skin conditions like psoriasis by ensuring the skin retains moisture.

4. Assists in controlling diabetes

The pain a diabetic experiences is something that only they can understand.

They help control diabetes due to their hypoglycemic effect, which reduces blood sugar levels.

Aqueous leaf extracts of pumpkin leaves have also been shown to have anti-diabetic properties, helping people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels.

5. Strengthens your bones

Among the many minerals contained in pumpkin leaves, calcium and phosphorus are important for bone and tooth health.

To guarantee strong bones, good growth, and proper tooth development, we must consume enough each day.

They are especially good for children and mothers due to their high calcium and phosphorus content.

6. Prevents constipation

Pumpkin leaves have fiber that adds bulk to stools and makes bowel movement easier.

It is believed that large, soft stools result from plenty of fiber consumption, triggering the contraction of the muscles of the intestines, pushing out the stool without the individual straining.

7. Fights against cancer

In recent decades, several studies have shown that eating more fiber and a decreasing risk of colon cancer are linked.

Pumpkin leaves contain several fibers like other green vegetables.

As well as being rich in nutrients, fiber-rich foods are also high in vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential in fighting cancer.

8. Maintains Dental Health

The mineral phosphorus plays an important role in bone and tooth health, as we have explained before.

Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus all support tooth enamel work as a mineral density booster for the jaws, and hold the teeth in place as well – these are minerals and vitamins that can also help heal tooth decay.

9. Defends Against Premature Aging (Anti-Aging)

These leaves contain high levels of antioxidants that slow the aging process.

The copper present in pumpkin leaves is a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxidative damage when it is combined with the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. 

A powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase fights free radicals within the body.

Many organ systems are affected by free radicals, but they have been well studied with regards to their effect on aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and susceptibility to numerous cancers, macular degeneration, and malfunctioning kidneys.

Consuming enough copper minerals in your daily diet can help you stay young for longer!

You can turn back the clock by consuming these leaves to feel and look younger!

10. Enhances Eye Health

Pumpkin leaves contain vitamin A, which protects some of the eye’s parts from degenerative changes as they age.

There is a condition called Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) that can result from this.

11. Rich Protein Source

As it contains a significant amount of protein, you can use it as a source of daily protein.

Your health and strength will improve.

Also Read: 20 Surprising Health Benefits of Sugarcane juice

Simple Pumpkin Leaves Recipe

 

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You’ll Need

  • Few pumpkin leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 2 Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Cup Powdered Peanuts

Process

  1. Wash the leaves thoroughly.
  2. Holding the stem in one hand, pull out the outer fibers.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan.
  4. Finely chop the leaves and add them to the hot oil in the pan along with finely chopped onions, tomatoes and water.
  5. Cover the pan until the leaves are wilted.
  6. Open the lid and keep stirring and cooking until water is reduced to half.
  7. Add powdered peanuts to it and a splash of oil and simmer it for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Season and garnish it as per your choice and serve hot.

How To Harvest Pumpkin Leaves

It is best to harvest the leaves of young pumpkin plants since the leaves grow larger and tougher as the plant matures. 

Adding an extra plant or two to your garden might be a good idea if you have enough space.

Always fully cover your skin when dealing with pumpkins in the garden.

Because the leaves are spiky and can make your arms itchy.

To harvest it, pick the leaves on the vine that are the smallest, but do not take more than every second leaf to prevent the vine from dying.

Yellow pumpkin leaves and those with powdery mildew should not be picked.

How to Preserve and Store Pumpkin Leaves

Soon after harvest, the nutrients and quality of fresh leaves will begin to decrease.

They can, however, be frozen and kept in plastic freezer bags separated by paper towels for up to three or four weeks.

Many regions of Africa, particularly South Africa, sun-dry pumpkin leaves for later use as medicinal or culinary uses.

To add an extra touch of beauty, the dried leaves are packaged along with the pumpkin’s flowers.

To preserve their deep color, place the leaves in hot water for three or four minutes after chopping them.

In direct sunlight, arrange pumpkin leaves on a drying rack and cover with netting to prevent pests from destroying them.

You can also oven-dry them.

Where to buy pumpkin leaves?

They are really difficult to find in a grocery store or farmer’s market.

You can purchase dried pumpkin leaves from the Internet if you can’t grow your own pumpkin plants. 

You can add dried leaves directly to soups, pasta, and stews as they have already been prepared.

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