When you think of pumpkins, you probably think of them as Halloween decor or a Thanksgiving dessert staple. But pumpkins have so much more to offer when it comes to their wide range of health benefits when eaten regularly. Pumpkins are a part of the squash family and are most noted for their vibrant orange color and tasty seeds contained inside. Almost all of the pumpkin is edible and can be used in a variety of ways to reap its excellent nutritional benefits. In this article, you will learn about 5 great nutrition benefits of pumpkin.
1. Rich in fiber
Pumpkins are an excellent source of fiber. Fiber aids the body in keeping your blood sugars steady, removing cholesterol from the body, and helping regulate bowel habits. With 7 grams of fiber per one-cup serving, canned pumpkin is a healthy addition to any dish. Another great benefit of fiber is that it helps keep you more full for longer.
2. Nutrient-dense food
Even though pumpkin is a low calorie food, this fruit packs a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits. The term nutrient-dense food means that this food is low in calories and loaded with the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. So go ahead and indulge in pumpkin in your next meal or dessert knowing it is a healthy option to get the daily nutrition your body needs.
3. Supports healthy skin
The health of your skin depends on a few key nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Fortunately, pumpkins are full of these skin-friendly nutrients that help keep your skin healthy and happy. Vitamin C can only be obtained from the diet, as it is not made by our bodies. This vitamin is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen, which helps keep skin plump and healthy. Vitamin E and beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, are antioxidants that aid in protection from sun damage and skin dryness.
4. Supports eye health
The bright orange color of pumpkins is due to their high beta-carotene levels, which are then converted to vitamin A in the body. Low levels of vitamin A can lead to dry eyes, reduced vision or even blindness. Vitamin A is critical for eye health and can be found abundantly in pumpkins. One cup of pumpkin contains more than 2 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making this fruit an excellent choice for eye health.
5. Supports the immune system
Pumpkins offer a wide range of immune-supporting vitamins and minerals that include beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and iron. The combination of these powerful antioxidants and minerals can help your body fight infections and stay healthy throughout the colder months.