Healthy Living

Pumpkin: A Heart-Healthy Carb with Low Calories!

As we strive to maintain a healthy heart, we are constantly looking for nutrient-rich foods to include in our diets. While we tend to focus on protein and healthy fats, it’s important not to forget about carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide our bodies with energy and are an essential part of a healthy diet. And one often overlooked source of carbohydrates is the humble pumpkin.

Pumpkin: A Heart-Healthy Carb with Low Calories! Heart Matters

Pumpkins are more than just a decoration for Halloween; they’re also a great addition to your heart-healthy diet. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating pumpkin into your meals:

  1. Low in Calories and High in Fiber: Pumpkins are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent food choice for weight management. The fiber in pumpkin can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the risk of overeating and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. On average, 100g of pumpkin is around 45-50 cal.
  2. Rich in Potassium: Potassium is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in heart health. It helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Pumpkins are an excellent source of potassium, with one cup of cooked pumpkin providing almost 600mg of this important mineral.
  3. Loaded with Antioxidants: Pumpkins are also rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against damage from free radicals. The antioxidants in pumpkin can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
  4. Versatile and Delicious: Pumpkins are incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. They can be roasted, pureed, or baked, and are delicious in soups, stews, and even desserts. You can also use pumpkin puree as a healthy substitute for butter or oil in baking recipes.
  5. Rich in Carotenoids: Pumpkins get their bright orange color from carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. These compounds may also help to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

Recipe Idea


Roasted Pumpkin and Chicken Quinoa Salad (Single Serve)

Pumpkin: A Heart-Healthy Carb with Low Calories! Heart Matters


  • 300g diced pumpkin
  • 180g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup mixed leafy greens
  • 15g chopped walnuts (for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced (for dressing)
  • Fresh oregano or parsley, finely chopped (for dressing)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Toss the diced pumpkin with half a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place it in the air fryer basket. Air fry for about 8-12 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and slightly caramelized.
  3. While the pumpkin is air frying, marinate the chicken breast with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the chicken until cooked through. Once cooked, slice the chicken into thin strips.
  4. In a bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, air-fried pumpkin, and sliced chicken.
  5. Add the mixed greens to the bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and finely chopped fresh oregano or parsley, salt, and pepper to form the dressing. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  7. Garnish the salad with chopped walnuts.
  8. Serve the roasted pumpkin and chicken quinoa salad as a satisfying single-serve meal.

TIP 1: Using the air fryer for roasting the pumpkin adds a crispy texture to this dish, enhancing its flavor and maintaining its nutritious profile. 

TIP 2: Elevate your cooking with a self-pumping oil spray. Say goodbye to imprecise pouring from bottles. A spray ensures comprehensive coverage using less oil, while also aiding in calorie control and more precise tracking.

Nutritional Information:

Calories 755
Total Fat 40g (saturated 6g, polyunsaturated 11g, monounsaturated 23g)
Total Carbohydrates 46g
Total Protein 53g



In conclusion, pumpkin is an excellent carbohydrate source to include in your heart-healthy diet. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in potassium, antioxidants, and carotenoids. So, why not try incorporating more pumpkin into your meals? Whether roasted, pureed, or baked, there are countless ways to enjoy this delicious and nutritious food.


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other anti-anginals

When first-line therapies for angina, such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and nitrates, prove inadequate or are not well-tolerated, second-line therapies may be considered.
Perhexiline is a unique medication that enhances the heart's ability to utilize fatty acids for energy, reducing its reliance on oxygen and lowering oxygen demand. This action helps improve blood flow and alleviates chest pain in some patients with refractory angina.
Nicorandil is another second-line option with a dual mechanism of action. It opens potassium channels in smooth muscle cells, causing vasodilation and enhancing coronary blood flow. Additionally, nicorandil also stimulates nitric oxide release, further dilating blood vessels and reducing heart workload.
Trimetazidine is an anti-ischemic agent that improves cardiac efficiency by enhancing glucose metabolism and shifting the heart's energy production to a more oxygen-efficient process. As second-line therapies, these medications offer alternative approaches for managing angina in individuals who do not respond adequately to first-line treatments or those experiencing side effects from other medications.

lipid lowering therapies

Lipid-lowering therapies play a critical role in managing coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels that supply the heart. Among the most commonly discussed and debated classes of medications are statins, which effectively reduce cholesterol levels and are widely prescribed to lower the risk of cardiovascular events. Alongside statins, other medications like ezetimibe, fibrates, and niacin are also utilized to target specific aspects of lipid metabolism, such as cholesterol absorption, triglyceride levels, and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Additionally, the introduction of medications that inhibit PCSK9, an enzyme involved in cholesterol metabolism, has provided a promising new approach to further lower LDL cholesterol levels. These PCSK9 inhibitors, such as Repatha (evolocumab), have shown significant efficacy in reducing LDL cholesterol levels in patients with CAD, especially for those who may not respond well to traditional therapies.


Nitrates are widely used to treat angina and provide quick relief for chest pain. Commonly available in the form of sublingual sprays or tablets, patches, and long-acting tablets, nitrates work by dilating blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow and reduced resistance. This dilation eases the heart's workload, leading to a decreased demand for oxygen and prompt alleviation of angina symptoms. Sublingual nitrates act rapidly and are often used to provide immediate relief during angina attacks, while patches and long-acting tablets are employed for preventive purposes. However, nitrates may cause side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and flushing, which usually subside over time.

calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine, felodipine, cardizem (diltiazem), and verapamil, are commonly prescribed for the treatment of angina. These medications work by inhibiting the influx of calcium into the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, leading to their relaxation. As a result, blood vessels widen, promoting improved blood flow and reduced blood pressure. In the context of angina, this relaxation decreases the heart's workload, lowering the demand for oxygen and alleviating chest pain. Calcium channel blockers offer a valuable treatment option for individuals with angina, but it is essential to be aware of potential side effects, which may include headaches, dizziness, flushing, and ankle swelling.

Beta blockers

Beta blockers, such as metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol, carvedilol, and bisoprolol, play a crucial role in treating angina. By blocking certain receptors in the heart, they effectively reduce heart rate and the force of contraction, thereby easing the heart's workload. This mechanism of action leads to a decreased demand for oxygen, making beta blockers highly effective in relieving chest pain associated with angina. As with any medication, it's important to consider potential side effects, including tiredness, worsened asthma, erectile dysfunction in some males, and more vivid dreams during sleep. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the suitability of beta blockers for managing your angina and overall heart health.

Anti-platelet Medications

Anti-platelet medications play a crucial role in preventing blood clot formation, reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Among the widely used anti-platelet drugs are aspirin, clopidogrel, and ticagrelor.

Aspirin: This well-known medication inhibits platelet activation, making it less likely for platelets to stick together and form clots. Aspirin is commonly used for primary and secondary prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

Clopidogrel: As a potent anti-platelet agent, clopidogrel works by blocking specific receptors on platelets, preventing them from aggregating. It is often prescribed to patients with acute coronary syndrome, those undergoing stent procedures, and for some cases of peripheral arterial disease.

Ticagrelor: Ticagrelor is another effective anti-platelet drug that works by inhibiting platelet activation. It is used in acute coronary syndrome, often given alongside aspirin to reduce the risk of heart-related events.