Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo

Bahasa Indonesia: Labu

Batak: Jelok

Basic Information: The pumpkin belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. Pumpkin plants are short lived annual or perennial vines with branching tendrils and broad lobed leaves. The plant produces large yellow or orange flowers and a pepo fruit known as a pumpkin. Pumpkins are considered a berry with a thick rind and can range greatly in size, anywhere from a few ounces to over 34 kg. The skin of the pumpkin is usually ribbed and range in color from green, grey, yellow, or red. Pumpkin plants are capable of reaching 15 meters in length if the vines are able to root. They are believed to have originated in Mexico or South America.

Health Benefits:

  1. Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases – the antioxidants found in pumpkins can neutralize free radicals and stop them from damaging your cells.
  2. Boosts Immunity – high levels of vitamin A strengthens your immune system, high levels of vitamin C increase white blood cell production, and vitamin E, iron, and folate all contribute to a stronger immune system as well.
  3. Protects your Eyesight – high sources of vitamins are found to significantly lower risk of cataracts and prevent free radicals from damaging your eye cells, while lutein and zeaxanthin levels also help lower risks of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  4. Promotes Weight Loss – pumpkins are packed with nutrients and yet are under 50 calories per cup, making them a nutrient dense food and a good source of fiber which help suppress your appetite.
  5. Lowers Cancer Risk – high levels of carotenoids found in pumpkins function as antioxidants and are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas, and breast cancers.
  6. Benefits Heart Health – pumpkins are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart health benefits.
  7. Promotes Healthy Skin – pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, which can act as a natural sunblock. In addition, it contains vitamins C and E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help keep your skin strong and healthy.
  8. Easy to add to your Diet – pumpkins can be easily roasted, pureed, or baked and the seeds are also edible and highly nutritious.

Fun Facts:

  • Pumpkins are commonly viewed as a vegetable (and nutritionally more similar to vegetables), but scientifically are considered fruits because they contain seeds
  • It is said that Christopher Columbus carried pumpkin seeds back with him to Europe to be used to feed pigs rather than humans
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,190.49 kg and was grown by Mathias Willemijins from Belgium