Tis’ the season for pumpkin-spiced everything! From pies to hot foamy lattes, family pumpkin carving and pumpkin patches, to roasted pumpkin seeds… yum!
Sure, some of these desserts and treats are tasty but have you ever thought of what pumpkins may offer our health? We were wondering that too and have done some research! Below are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Pumpkins.
1. Excellent Source of Beta-Carotene
Ever wonder how pumpkins get that beautiful-orange vibrant colour? From beta-carotene of course!
Pumpkin’s are one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a very strong and effective antioxidant. Beta-carotene is what gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant colour. The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Eating foods rich in beta-carotene will help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration
2. It’s Good for the Heart!
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart. The fibre, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkins all support a healthy heart. The potassium intake will help reduce the risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, and preservation of bone mineral density.
Did you know that a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Awesome! Magnesium participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke.
3. A Healthy Immune System
Both the pumpkin pulp and seeds are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene (as mentioned above). They both offer a boost to the immune system using a powerful combination of nutrients! When our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, it helps produce more white blood cells that fight infections, making our immune system nice and strong!
Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of zinc too! Zinc is highly important for the body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
4. Combats Diabetes
Studies have shown that the plant compounds in pumpkin seeds and pulp are excellent for helping the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines, as well as balancing levels of liver glucose. This can help keep diabetes at bay.
5. Pumpkin Seeds: A Good Source of Omega-3 Fats
Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fats!
6. Better Sleep!
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin.
Tip! Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit excellent anti-inflammatory effects. One study found it worked better than a pharmaceutical drug for treatment of arthritis and without the side effects!
8. Cancer Prevention, Especially for Men
Pumpkins — especially the seeds — are rich in nutrients and antioxidants with cancer protective properties. Pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in males.
9. Improves Vision
A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision.
10. Great Source of Fibre
Pumpkin is packed with fibre, especially the seeds! Fibre is known to keep you full longer, which keeps your appetite throughout the day low.
Do you have a healthy pumpkin recipe you would like to share with others? Leave a link in the comment section below!
Happy Pumpkin Picking!
Sources: 9 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Pumpkin by Health Line https://www.healthline.com What are the health benefits of pumpkins by Medical News Today www.medicalnewstoday.com; 6 Surprising health benefits of pumpkin by Daily Burn www.dailyburn.com