Pumpkins have more benefits besides just being great fall decorations. Find out how you can benefit from actually adding pumpkins to your diet.
Pumpkin belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is a type of winter squash which is native to North America.
Nutritionally, pumpkin is more similar to vegetables than fruits, even though it contains seeds. It is popular during Halloween and Thanksgiving. Besides its delicious taste, there are many health benefits of pumpkin.
This post explores these benefits so that you have a better idea of why you should eat pumpkin.
1. Highly Nutritious & Rich in Vitamin A
Pumpkins have an impressive nutrient profile. They contain iron, manganese, copper, potassium, fiber, carbohydrates, protein and many vitamins.
Pumpkins have a high vitamin A content. There are other vitamins as well such as vitamin C, B2 and E. Small amounts of zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate can be found in pumpkins.
A great thing about pumpkins is that they are 94% water. This means that they do not contain a lot of calories.
Moreover, pumpkins are also high in beta-carotene which helps the body turn into vitamin A. Pumpkin seeds can also be eaten as they are nutritious, edible and offer many health benefits.
2. High Antioxidant Content
Pumpkins contain high antioxidant content which protects the body from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that your body produces during the metabolic process.
They destroy harmful bacteria and perform other useful roles. However, free radicals are highly unstable.
Excessive free radicals create a state referred to as oxidative stress which causes many chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
Antioxidants like beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are some of the antioxidants that are found in pumpkins.
They help neutralize the free radicals which prevent them from damaging your cells. Antioxidants protect your skin from sun damage and lower the risk of eye diseases.
3. Contain Immunity Boosting Vitamins
The nutrients found in pumpkins boost your immune system. The high beta-carotene content helps the body turn into vitamin A.
This strengthens your immune systems and fights off infections. People that have vitamin A deficiency tend to have a weaker immune system.
Pumpkin also contains high vitamin C content which is known to boost white blood cell production. It also allows the cells to work more effectively.
Thus, wounds would be healed much faster. The folate, iron and vitamin E content in pumpkins aids your immune system.
4. Protects Your Eyesight
As we age, our eyesight tends to diminish. However, if you eat the right nutrients, then the risk of eyesight loss would be much lower.
The nutrients in pumpkins help ensure that you have strong eyesight, even as you age. The beta-carotene content provides necessary vitamin A which is vital for good eyesight.
Moreover, pumpkin also contains zeaxanthin and lutein which are the two powerful compounds that are linked to lower risks of cataracts and AMD (age-related macular degeneration).
5. Promotes Weight Loss
The low-calorie count and nutrient density of pumpkins promotes weight loss. Considered a great nutrient-dense food, pumpkins are just what you need to eat if you want to lose weight. Besides, the fiber from pumpkin curbs appetite.