If you can’t think beyond Halloween and Harry Potter when you hear “pumpkin,” it’s time to change that. Pumpkins are chock full of the goodness of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, and C, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
A 100 g serving has 91 g water, just 7 g carbs, 0.1 g fat, and just 26 calories. A 100 g serving can meet a phenomenal 170% of your daily requirement of vitamin A.
Even the super-nutritious pumpkin seeds are a health freak’s dream snack. Here’s a look at the many health benefits of pumpkin.
1. Helps Weight Loss
If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, you might want to add pumpkin to your diet. It has a good amount of fiber, boasting of 1.7 g in a cup of pumpkin seeds, 3 g in mashed pumpkin, and 7 g in canned pumpkin. Fiber is just what your digestion needs to make things a lot smoother and a heavy dose of fiber every day can help with weight loss.
How To Eat Pumpkin For Weight Loss
- Snack on toasted pumpkin seeds.
- If you’re craving something sweet, simply sprinkle a little cinnamon on your pumpkin (toss in a little almond if you want) and enjoy!
- Find interesting ways to sneak a little pumpkin into your food. Like pumpkin muffins or in a smoothie.
2. Boosts Immunity
Getting sick often? Struggling to recover from a nasty cold? You need pumpkin in your diet. From fighting against infections to keeping your bones strong, vitamin A has a truckload of responsibilities. And this particular vitamin is extremely high in pumpkin.
Vitamin C is another essential part of raising your immunity. One study found out vitamin C can help reduce the severity of a cold. Pumpkins are a rich source of vitamin C. In fact, one cup of canned pumpkin can give 20% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
Pumpkins are also great sources of folic acid, manganese, and riboflavin – all essential for a healthy immune system. Are you grabbing that pumpkin, already? Try pumpkin soups for an easy (and yummy) way to get all those nutrients in your body.
3. Improves Eye Health
Did you know eating a cup of canned and cooked pumpkin can give you 200% of your daily vitamin A? This particular vitamin is important for sharper vision, better performance under dim lights, and to keep your eyes in good health. Also, the chemical components of pumpkins reduce the risk of cataracts and development of other optical issues.
4. Maintains Heart Health
Pumpkins are great for the heart thanks to their fiber, vitamins, and potassium. When you eat a diet rich in fiber, it helps to protect the heart from ailments. Also, a good intake of potassium is proven to reduce the risk of stroke.
Magnesium is another reason why you need to eat pumpkin. It’s a vital mineral for your heart. Even a slight deficiency can create changes in the heart. It’s important for the pumping of your heart, for healthy blood vessels, and to reduce the risk of heart attacks. And all you need is just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds to meet half the magnesium requirement for a day.
5. Reduces Cancer Risk
A pigment known as beta-carotene is the reason why pumpkins get their deep orange color. But this particular pigment is not just known for its color. When consumed, beta-carotene turns into vitamin A in our system. Also, several studies claim diets rich in beta-carotene and zinc reduces the risk of cancer, especially prostate and lung cancer.
By adding pumpkin (rich in both beta-carotene and zinc) into your diet, it should help lower the risk of cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Another study found out beta-carotene also reduces the risk of colon cancer.