When I think about pumpkins I often find myself reminiscing or wishing it was the season of Fall. Strolling through a pumpkin patch with the brisk air brushing past your face, sounds enticing right? Well, what if we told you pumpkins should be known for more than their stunning color and perfect Fall esthetic.
Pumpkins actually have a ton of health benefits too and that is precisely what we’re going to discuss today. We’re not talking about the beloved sugary pumpkin pie, we’re referring to it’s healthier relative, cooked pumpkin with possibly a dash of seasoning. We’ll walk you through exactly what consuming pumpkin can do for you. Once you check this out we’re confident you’ll want some delicious recipes. To help get you started with tasty recipes you can read HERE.
Pumpkin happens to be one of the most well-known sources of beta-carotene. This is responsible for a few things. First, beta-carotene is what provides pumpkins with their vibrantly orange color and this would also be true for carrots, sweet potatoes, and other winter squashes.
Further, beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant which we will talk more about that importance later. Our bodies also naturally convert any indigested beta-carotene into vitamin A. And vitamin A could help reduce the risk of cancer, protect against asthma, as well as could help to prevent heart disease.
Maintaining a strong immune system is crucial to preventing sickness. We’re often at our weakest during seasonal changes and it is so important we do the best we can to keep the immune system strong and healthy. Along with regular exercise and adequate sleep, consuming a diet that is thriving in foods that are good for our immune system is a great idea too.
Pumpkin is packed full of nutrients that can help boost our immunity. For starters, pumpkin is high in vitamin C which we need because it can increase the white blood cell production. If you aren’t familiar, white blood cells are what help fight off infections. Further, once again thanks to beta-carotene pumpkins are high in vitamin A which have also been shown to help fight off infections. If you want to maintain a healthy immune system you might want to consider adding more pumpkin into your diet.
Many of us go through extreme measures and costs to maintain or achieve healthy and young looking skin. Before you drop copious amounts of dollars on skin care products you may want to reassess your diet. Pumpkin contains some excellent nutrients that can promote healthy glowing skin.
To start, pumpkin is rich in vitamin B and C both of which help to protect our skin from damage such as premature wrinkles. These vitamins can help promote collagen production as well as improve our circulation. In time, both of these contribute to an evener skin tone as well as can improve the elasticity and skin cell renewal. Furthermore, pumpkins are also chock full of minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and iron. All of these can promote healthy skin and hair. These minerals also work to maintain collagen, protect cell membranes, increase skin renewal and can even fight off acne.
A healthy digestion is vital for your overall health and to maintaining a happy mindset. After all, no one likes the feeling of constipation or any other digestion problems. Pumpkin can help aid our digestions because of it’s rich fiber content.
The average female should consume around 25 grams of fiber per day whereas the average male should consume about 30-38 grams of fiber per day. Fresh cooked pumpkin contains about 3 grams of fiber whereas canned pumpkin contains about 7 grams. Adding at least a serving of pumpkin into your daily diet could really help in contributing to your daily fiber intake.
Antioxidants play an important role in protecting us from free radicals. Free radicals can occur naturally in the body through our bodies metabolic process but also from external sources such as air pollutants, cigarette smoking, industrial chemicals, and several others.
Fighting free radicals and consuming a diet that is rich in antioxidants could help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. All of these work to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
If you’re looking to shed a few pounds or are trying to maintain your weight you may want to consider adding more pumpkin to your diet. It’s an excellent food for weight loss for several reasons. For starters, it’s a low-calorie food and is high in fiber. Just half a cup of pumpkin contains 40 calories and 8 grams of dietary fiber.
A diet that is thriving in dietary fiber is great for dieters because it can curb your appetite by making you feel full for longer. In addition, dietary fiber can help slow the absorption of sugar/glucose in the body. This will help keep your blood sugar levels in check. And this is important because stable blood sugar levels can decrease your chances of spiked insulin release and unwanted fat storage. Along with these nutrients, pumpkin is thriving in other vital minerals and vitamins that can promote a healthy body.
Regulating your blood pressure is essential to maintaining a healthy body. It can decrease your risk of some severe health problems. Not only can it promote heart health which we will talk about next but regulating your blood pressure can help promote healthy arteries too.
Pumpkin is rich in magnesium and potassium both of which play an important role in lowering blood pressure. Try cooking pumpkin and enjoy it as a side dish or add it into a soup. There are so many easy and delicious ways you can start adding it to your diet.
Blood pressure and heart health go hand in hand. When your blood pressure is high it can put a strain on your heart. That said, healthy blood pressure levels can put you on the right road to maintaining a healthy heart.
To begin, it is rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C. All of which are linked to aid the heart. Further, as we talked about earlier pumpkin is high in antioxidants and this can protect our blood vessels which in result could lower the risk of heart disease. In conclusion, there are so many great health benefits that cooked pumpkin can offer you. You may want to try adding more of it to your diet to maintain a healthier you on the inside and the out.