Pumpkin is no doubt a fall favorite. In fact, it’s one of the reasons many people look forward to fall, especially those pumpkin spice flavored lattes. However, pumpkin spice, isn’t quite the same as real pumpkin. And, what we’re talking about here are the benefits of real pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. These two things may help boost your overall health by:
Your skin can benefit from eating real pumpkin. Pumpkin contains vitamin C which helps with collagen production and skin protection. It can also help with getting rid of free radicals, which can lead to wrinkles. Pumpkin is also loaded with carotenoids, which can assist in reversing damage to your skin. It also contains copper, which can promote healthier skin. And, zinc is found in the seeds, which is great for fighting acne, as well as, maintaining collagen. Also good for acne, pumpkin contains B vitamins, including niacin.
Pumpkin may help improve your vision or at least aid in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration. There are 3 things in pumpkin that are excellent for your eyes: vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Vitamin A can help in preventing cataracts and slow down retinitis pigmentosa (a degenerative eye disease). Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to help in preventing cataracts as well as reducing your risk of macular degeneration.
Regulating blood pressure
The potassium, fiber, and vitamin C found in pumpkin all support a healthy heart. Potassium has shown to be helpful in lowering the risk of stroke and it can have a “positive effect on blood pressure.”
Helping reach weight loss goals
Pumpkin is low in calories and high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can actually help slow the digestive process, allowing you to stay full for longer. It can also reduce the rate that sugar is absorbed (helping to maintain better blood sugar levels). When your blood sugar levels increase it can trigger insulin to be released, as well as, fat storage.
Feeling bad? You may want to turn to pumpkin seeds. They have been said to improve mood, because they offer a compound called L-tryptophan. This is said to help fight against depression, as well as improving overall mood.
It’s fall, and we know that pumpkin is a favorite among many. However, it may be time to switch to the real stuff. Try some recipes that include real pumpkin and, when it comes time to carve your pumpkins this year, make sure to save the seeds for roasting. Boost your wellness with good eating, and enjoy a happy, healthy season!