Fall’s here, and finally, pumpkins are appearing at the market. Not only are pumpkins delicious and adorable when carved up for Halloween, but they’re also super beneficial for a healthy body. Here are five key pumpkin health benefits:
1. Great for eyesight
Pumpkin is packed full of vitamin A, which has many benefits for the body, but it’s particularly beneficial for maintaining healthy vision. Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant which the body converts into vitamin A after it’s been digested. Both of these nutrients give pumpkin its beautiful orange color. Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds that help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. Reduces the risk of chronic disease
In addition to beta-carotene, pumpkin contains a wide range of other antioxidants. These antioxidants work hard to help protect your cells from damage, and some studies have shown antioxidants can even help reduce the risk of chronic disease, cancer in particular. They also help fight sun damage to the skin.
3. Promotes healthy digestion and weight loss
Another benefit of adding pumpkin to a balanced diet is that it is low in calories but packed full of nutrients and fiber. Fiber helps promote satiety, and it supports regular digestion as well. This, paired with the fact that pumpkin is low in calories, makes pumpkin exceptionally diet-friendly.
4. Supports a healthy heart
Pumpkin is incredibly nutrient-dense, high in fiber, and high in potassium and vitamin C. Getting enough of these nutrients can help prevent high blood pressure and lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
5. Good for healthy skin
The antioxidants in pumpkin protect skin from sun damage, which can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Beta-carotene can even serve as a mild natural sunscreen. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, which the body uses to produce collagen, keeping skin looking bright, supple, and healthy.
Pumpkin has plenty of great health benefits, and there are so many different ways to eat it. Add it to salads or soups for the perfect fall lunch. It also tastes great as an addition to pasta or stir fry. For those of us with a sweet tooth, pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins are always a winner.
Whether you eat it or decorate it, this tasty food is a great way to get in the fall spirit!