As we go further into the fall season, pumpkin continues to be a shining seasonal item that’s added to entrees at restaurants and on sale at supermarkets, which is terrific for you and your health! If you love eating pumpkin, then you’re going to love pumpkin even more after you learn about five wonderful health benefits the autumn squash has to offer!
Pumpkins Are An Amazing Source Of Beta-Carotene
If you even wondered what nutrient gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color, it’s thanks to beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that your body turns into vitamin A when you ingest it. One cup of cooked and mashed pumpkin contains over 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. There are many benefits to eating a diet rich in beta-carotene, such as protection against heart disease and eye problems as well as possibly reducing the risk of certain cancers. Eating foods like pumpkin that are rich in beta-carotene may also be better than taking supplements when it comes to warding off potential cancers.
Eating Pumpkin Can Help Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
Recent studies have suggested that getting enough potassium in your diet is just as important as keeping your sodium levels low when it comes to managing high blood pressure. Pumpkins are an excellent source of potassium, with one cup of cooked pumpkin having 564 mg. Your daily recommended intake of potassium is 4,700 mg.
Pumpkins Are A Great Source Of Vitamin C
With cold and flu season fast-approaching, you’re probably looking for ways to ramp up your immune system. One way to do that is to get enough Vitamin C, which pumpkin has an excellent source of! A serving of cooked pumpkin (pumpkin pulp) or pumpkin seeds contains 19% of your recommended daily allowance.
Eating Pumpkin Can Help You Reach Your Daily Fiber Intake
Most people in the U.S. do not get enough fiber in their diet, with the average daily intake being 15 grams, compared to the recommended daily intake being between 25-30 grams. As a way to add more fiber into your diet, enjoy a cup of cooked pumpkin which has nearly 3 grams of fiber or canned pumpkin which has over 7 grams.
Eating Pumpkin Seeds Can Elevate Your Mood
Just like turkey, pumpkin seeds are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan produces serotonin in your brain, which your body can’t make naturally. Having high levels of serotonin can help you sleep better (aka why people think eating turkey at Thanksgiving makes them sleepy), as well as elevate your mood by making you feel more relaxed and in an overall better state of well-being.
Need more reasons to eat more pumpkin? We didn’t think so. Have fun cooking new pumpkin-infused dishes with your family and enjoy all of the wonderful health benefits that come along with it!