Bí Đỏ (pumpkin squash), a popular and cheap vegetable at any market and supermarket, contains three times more beta-carotene higher than liver, and five times more than a carrot.
In the body, beta-carotene is transformed into Vitamin A and not only controls the process of growth and development of the body, but it is also the best natural antioxidant protecting the body from pollution in the environment. Vitamin A also plays an important role in bone growth and reproduction, protein collection, immune system harmony and skin protection.
The vegetable is a natural brain tonic and can be cooked into soup, fried or boiled, or even made into Vietnamese chè sweet soup, a favorite local dessert. Bí đỏ also helps prevent cancer and its flesh contains pectin, which can help relieve constipation. The vegetable can do wonders for almost any digestive problem.
Pumpkin squash is also the leading iron holding vegetable, and also contains copper salt and phosphorus that are good for creating blood. Some dishes made from pumpkin squash are good for preventing iron-deficiency anemia and coronary problems. Glutamic acid in pumpkin squash is necessary for brain functions, plays an important role in tonifying the nervous system, and helps facilitate the interaction of nerve cells with the brain.
Pumpkin squash can also boost intellectual development in children. The vegetable should be on the daily menu of anyone with poor eyesight, short-sightedness and those who suffer from night-blindness.
Pumpkin squash seeds also contain a staggering about of nutritional benefits.
- Herbalist Dinh Cong Bay recommends pumpkin squash and pork soup, which is good for the kidney and spleen, and strengthens the immune system. Choose a pumpkin squash with two deep skins, including one green layer closer to its cover and another inside yellow and red layer. The best pumpkin squash for the dish is called bí sáp, the flesh of which is glutinous and sweet. Rinse and slice 150g of lean pork or 200g of pork rib into medium pieces, and put them in a big bowl. Then pour hot water in the bowl of pork, and wash them with cool water to exclude any sediment and aroma. After mixing the pork with spices for one hour, place pork in a pan with sliced and burnt garlic and oil and fry until the pork pieces become lightly yellow. Then put the fried pork in a pot, and cover them with water to cook over a low heat until the pork is soft to eat. Add 200g of peeled and sliced pumpkin squash pieces and 100g of crushed peanuts. Continue to cook until the pumpkin squash is soft, and then season with salt and sugar. The dish, which is served hot, is also suitable for asthenia sufferers and people with a poor appetite.
- Herbalist Minh Chanh's favorite pumpkin squash soup is different, but good for the lungs, to treat coughs and fight allergies. Wash one pumpkin squash and 500g of jujubes, and cook them with 200g of sugar and water in a pot until the pumpkin squash is soft and becomes a porridge consistency. Enjoy one bowl of porridge every day. Children with long-term coughs should try this porridge.
- According to pharmacist Kim Chung, drinking a half a glass of pumpkin squash juice every day will help the heart and is good for insomnia, obesity and high blood pressure. Chung says the zinc in pumpkin squash prevents prostate problems. Therefore, eating pumpkin seeds everyday is good for men, and even for children, as zinc supports the process of genital growth.