It's October and it must be the season of the witch! Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means: it's time to carve your gourds into something scary. What isn't scary though are the pumpkin health benefits I'm about to run through.
Fresh pumpkin flesh is what fall is all about to me. Sound scary? Well, don't get cross with me, I like things that are on the right side of creepy in the rundown of days till Halloween. Like a pumpkin pie with nice creative latticework. Or a wonderful pumpkin soup served in the nicely carved shell. It's pumpkin season and I'm very happy about it.
But don't get me wrong, the reasons aren't wholly aesthetic. Pumpkin is also delicious and filling and oh so versatile, that I usually can't wait to get my witchy hands on some gourds. And last but not least: the pumpkin health benefits are definitely something you can't overlook. That's why the bright orange marvel deserves some of your attention and you should definitely put it on your shopping list.
One cup of pumpkin puree has only 49 calories, but also plenty of fiber, some protein and more than enough vitamin A for two and a half people every day. Impressed yet? Let's see what other pumpkin health benefits you can take advantage of.
You can have it fresh or as puree, you can roast it, boil it, or steam it, you can turn it into soup or use it into salads or as pie filling. Your options are endless!
5 pumpkin health benefits
1. It regulates your blood pressure
Pumpkin is rich in potassium and antioxidants, which means that it's really good for your heart. If you only took a chance and enter a long-term relationship with it. The seeds have oil in them that help prevent a high blood pressure and can also lower your levels if they're a bit high. You can have the seeds as a great snack, you can add pumpkin into smoothies, but you can also mix it with cinnamon and yogurt for a really nutritious breakfast.
2. It helps you digest your food
Thanks to the fiber in them, pumpkins all but ensure that you have a not painful time digesting your food. They also help you feel full faster and regulate your digestion. According to some research, pumpkin does even more than that. It lowers your risk for obesity, raises the levels of nutrient absorption, and slows the absorption of carbs. That means your blood sugar is on the level. The good, regulated level.
It's also a very hydrating food – about 90 percent of it is water. This also helps with a good digestion.
3. It fights diabetes
The caloric levels of pumpkin are quite low, which leads to it being a great food for diabetics (type 2 in particular). But if you're getting canned pumpkin, make sure that it has no added sugars, cause that would defeat the point, wouldn't it?
And we already mentioned on the previous point that pumpkin helps regulate blood sugar levels. This happens thanks to the phenolic phytochemicals in it.
4. It boosts your immunity
Because this is the season where we're all plagued by viruses, it's good to eat as many immunity-boosting foods as possible. Like, have you heard about this wonderful gourd called pumpkin? I am kidding, but not quite. Pumpkin is great for your immunity thanks to its antioxidants but also thanks to the vitamin C in it. But that's not all! Another secret weapon in pumpkin's arsenal are the peptides that may have antimicrobial effects.
And last but not least, the beta-carotene that gives pumpkins their lovely color is turned into vitamin A in the body. And it's great against all kinds of other infections.
5. It helps you see better
Are you looking for a better vision? Then pumpkin is the thing to have in your kitchen. It has carotenoids which can be converted into vitamin A as we said earlier. And vitamin A is just what your eyes and skin need to be healthy and shiny. Pumpkin is even better than carrots when it comes to carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.