It’s finally pumpkin season, and the reason to celebrate are endless. Not only is fall’s signature squash versatile enough to fit into all the above and more, it also packs some powerful healthy perks. Below, some of the favorite health benefits of pumpkin.
- Keeps Eyesight Sharp: A cup of cooked/mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin a(aids vision) [according to the National Institutes of Health]
- Aid Weight Loss: Pumpkin is an overlooked source of fiber, but with 3grams per 1 cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.
- Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Your Heart: Naturally rich in certain plant based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce “bad” cholesterol
- May Reduce Cancer Risk: Boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which plays a role in cancer prevention [according to the National Cancer Institute]
- Protects the Skin: The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free [Health magazine]
- Pumpkin Seeds Can Boost Your Mood: Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the famed ingredient in turkey that many think brings on the need for that post-Thanksgiving feast snooze. While experts agree that it’s likely the overeating rather than the tryptophan lulling you to sleep, the amino acid is important in production of serotonin, one of the major players when it comes to our mood, WebMD reports. A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds may help your outlook stay bright.
- Can Help After a Hard Workout: A cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium (564 milligrams) to a banana’s (422 milligrams)