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Treat that constipation with pumpkins

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th June 2015 04:20 PM

The pumpkin is another important food that is usually ignored and neglected in people’s diet.

Treat that constipation with pumpkins

The pumpkin is another important food that is usually ignored and neglected in people’s diet.

By Umar Nsubuga

The pumpkin is another important food that is usually ignored and neglected in people’s diet.

Pumpkins are nutritious, like mangoes, they contain fibre and varieties of vitamins especially A, B and E.
Consuming pumpkin regularly can help move food through your digestive tract, adding bulk to your stool and lessening your risk of constipation.
According to Sharon Naluwende, a nutritionist from Mulago hospital pumpkins have sucrose, a carbohydrate responsible for energy provision.

“Seeds of pumpkins contain an essential oil that is important in maintaining an effective blood flow through the blood vessels, which helps to prevent heart attacks, a stroke and clotting in blood vessels”, she says.
Haspha Nassolo, a nursing officer at Joint Clinic Research Centre says a pumpkin has essential mineral salts including iron, zinc, managanese, that are good for the general body functions like transporting oxygen.
“So if your goal is a healthy, nutritious diet, add pumpkin to meals regularly. Regular consumption of pumpkins helps prevent fluid retention, ideal for treatment of obesity and constitute a suitable way to prevent the formation of kidney stones”, she says.
The pumpkin is also rich in foric acid.

This vitamin besides taking part in the health of the nervous system, it helps to protect the heart by neutralizing the elevated levels homocysteine in the body that may be responsible for the heart attacks.

Pumpkin seeds

Naluwende says pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack, some of the fat in pumpkin seeds is a natural vegetable oil that contains phytosterols , a class of plant-based fats with potential health benefits.
“Pumpkin seed oil is traditionally recommended to improve prostate health and relieve prostatic enlargement.

The oil might also have cardiovascular benefits, like reducing blood pressure”, Naluwende says.
How fibre is important to the body

Nassolo says fibre consumption is one natural way of controlling body weight.

When one feeds on a fibre based diet, it creates a feeling of fullness in a way that one takes long to feel the sensation of hanger and as such eats less weight control.

Fibre absorbs water, thus increasing the fecal weight.  

According to Naluwende fibre decreases transit time in the intestines thus exposing them less to the toxins that may be taken with food.

This controls intestinal cancer because the intestines are not intoxicated.

Fibre reduces the rate of cholesterol, absorption into the blood stream. Excess fibre may result into very loose stool or diarrhea that may be quite uncomfortable for an individual.

Besides there may be some abdominal discomfort resulting from increased gas production.  

These gases originate from fibre digestion by the normal flora.

Naluwende says as a result of the very loose stool, there may be loss of essential body mineral salts.

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