7 Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin

We’re living in an age of unprecedented popularity for pumpkins.

From Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin-scented candles, pumpkin can be found in just about everything these days, especially during the fall.

The fact that pumpkin both tastes and smells amazing is reason enough to love it. But this versatile squash is also loaded with essential vitamins and profound health benefits.

From improving your eyesight to reducing your risk of cancer, pumpkin seriously does the body gourd (see what we did there?).

Below we’ve outlined seven health benefits of eating and drinking pumpkin this fall. Enjoy!

Boost your immune system with vitamins

Pumpkin is a wonderfully nutrient-rich fruit that’s a perfect ingredient for soups, pies, curries, casseroles, breads, and much more. In addition to packing a flavorful punch, it’s loaded with vitamins, too. One cup of pumpkin boasts 197 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. As a superfood, importantly, pumpkin also contains Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium.

Where pumpkin really stands out is it delivers both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps absorb and remove harmful LDL cholesterol. This cholesterol can cause heart disease. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, works to support healthy digestion and helps your body retain good nutrients.

Reduce your risk of cancer

Pumpkin is high in carotenoids, which function as antioxidants in the body. These antioxidants have strong cancer-fighting properties and can remove free radicals. In fact, it was found that people who consumed a higher percentage of carotene and beta-carotene had a much lower chance of becoming sick with cancer in the stomach, throat, pancreas, and breast. Carotene and beta-carotene are common antioxidants in yellow and orange foods.

Improve your eyesight

In two main ways, pumpkin helps keep your eyes healthy. First, it delivers a potent dose of Vitamin A, which is crucial for sharp lifelong eyesight. Many studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin A is an extremely common cause of blindness.

Second, it’s an amazing source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two compounds are proven to lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. They’re naturally found in the human eye and retina. Their function? To protect the eye tissues from sun damage.

It’s really gourd for your heart

Pumpkin intake can significantly improve your heart health. Potassium in pumpkins is the key nutrient here. Studies show that people with higher potassium intake have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of strokes. As noted above, pumpkin’s antioxidants also help remove bad cholesterol. This makes pumpkin one of the most heart healthy and tasty ingredients you can include in your fall meals. 

Pumpkin seeds help you pee

Prostate and bladder health are somewhat overlooked but absolutely crucial bodily functions. And pumpkin seeds can help improve bladder health.

Most commonly, pumpkin seeds have been used to help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition that enlarges the prostate gland and makes it challenging to urinate. Studies show that eating pumpkin seeds eases these symptoms and drastically improves quality of life for patients.

For the more general population, research suggests that eating pumpkin seeds can help treat the symptoms of an overactive bladder. As little as 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract can significantly improve urinary function.

Keep your blood sugar levels in check

Eating pumpkin seeds and drinking pumpkin juice help reduce blood sugar levels. Medical professionals believe this is because pumpkin is packed with magnesium. This vitamin is commonly depleted in people who have type 2 diabetes.

While human research is needed to confirm the results, animal studies have shown that compounds in pumpkin have diabetes-preventing and blood-sugar-lowering effects!

Eat a few pumpkin seeds for a good night’s sleep

Having trouble falling asleep this autumn? Consider eating a few pumpkin seeds before bedtime. Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes deep sleep. Research shows that as little as 1 gram of tryptophan daily can improve your sleep cycle.

When you eat pumpkin seeds, you’ll also be enjoying a healthy dose of zinc, which increases levels of serotonin, helps regulate your sleep schedule, and also reduces symptoms of depression.

Ready to eat more pumpkin this fall? Keep your family healthy and happy all season long with these delicious pumpkin recipes.

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Wellness, Health
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