It’s October and Halloween is fast approaching, which means we’ll soon be seeing plenty of pumpkins everywhere. But did you know there is much more to pumpkins than just carving scary faces into them once a year and using them as an ornamental decoration? Eating pumpkin has lots of health benefits. Here are eight of them.
Helps Keep You Full
Pumpkins are a great source of fiber which means that you will feel full quicker and for a longer period of time after you eat them. A one cup serving of pumpkin also contains only 49 calories. Put high fiber and low calories together and you have a recipe for weight loss. So add some pumpkin to your fall menu to help you stay slim as the temperature drops.
Helps Prevent Cancer
Orange fruits and veggies like pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant with powerful cancer fighting potential. Food sources of beta-carotene are much more potent than taking a supplement, so it’s much better to eat your vitamins rather than taking them in capsule form.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Pumpkin contains many antioxidants and vitamins including vitamins A, C and E which will help keep your skin nice and supple and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The pulp is also full of enzymes that will cleanse your skin, and pumpkin is also very hydrating for your skin.
Good Source of Potassium
Bananas are usually thought of as the best source of potassium, but pumpkin has bananas beat. When you need to refuel after a hard workout or replenish lost electrolytes after an illness, eating a delicious pumpkin snack will be a better choice than eating a banana.
Wards off Colds
Pumpkins have a healthy dose of vitamin C, which is known for its immune boosting powers. One cup of pumpkin gives a third of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Makes You Happy
The seeds of the pumpkin are full of tryptophan, an amino acid which helps the body produce serotonin, the feel good hormone released from the brain.
Pumpkin seeds are full of phytosterols which helps keep bad cholesterol in check. Lowering your cholesterol will reduce your chances of developing any heart issues in the future.
Helps You See in the Dark
One serving of pumpkin will give your body twice the amount of recommended vitamin A and its carotenoids also help the body produce even more vitamin A. All this extra vitamin A will help your eyes stay sharp, especially in the dark. So start chowing down on pumpkin now to prepare for this Halloween’s Trick or Treating.
Considering how many health benefits pumpkins have, don’t throw away those pumpkin innards after your carving session this Halloween; save them and eat them. There’s so many different ways you can use them. Try adding some to smoothies, make a pumpkin seed trail mix, bake some oatmeal pumpkin muffins, or have pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Happy Halloween!