Pumpkins aren’t just pretty orange decorations for your front porch in autumn – they’re actually really good for you! Here are 4 health benefits of eating pumpkin.
Nothing says autumn like pumpkins! They are everywhere this time of year, from the Halloween decorations by your front door, to the pies on your Thanksgiving table. But not only is this seasonal vegetable beautiful to look at, it’s also really good for you!
Here are just a few health benefits that pumpkins (and their related cousins – squash) can provide:
1. Pumpkin Is Low in Calories But High In Nutrients
First of all, pumpkin is a very low-fat and low-calorie food that is easy to add to your daily diet in the fall. Whether you are trying to eat fewer carbs, lower calories, or cut back on your fat, pumpkin is a great option. In fact, it is often used as a substitute in cakes and cupcake recipes because it contains excellent nutrition but less fat than some of the other possible ingredients in these sweet treats – plus it lends your baked goods a beautiful golden color! In addition to being low in fat, pumpkins are also high in fiber, aiding digestion and providing cardiovascular benefits.*
2. It May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Pumpkin also happens to be a good food if you suffer from high blood pressure and are looking for a natural way to reduce it – especially if you eat the seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain an oil that has been shown to help reduce hypertension. They have been shown to help with both your diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Some research has found that pumpkin may help with high cholesterol levels as well – possibly due to its high fiber content.
3. Pumpkin Is Good for Your Eyes
Did your mom ever tell you to eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyesight? This is because carrots contain vitamin A, which helps improve your vision, and has also been shown to slow the progression of vision-related conditions, including degenerative eye diseases. Vitamin A is also important for good health in other areas of the body as well, including strong bones, and healthy skin and hair. Pumpkins are also an excellent source of vitamin A, so enjoy all the pumpkin you want!
4. Pumpkin May Help Reduce Insomnia
Do you have insomnia or a fatigue condition? This yummy and seasonal vegetable (and its seeds) contains an amino acid called tryptophan. This nutrient helps you to get to sleep, so having a slice of pumpkin pie or some roasted pumpkin seeds after your holiday parties can help you wind down and get a good night’s rest. There is some evidence that pumpkin may also help to boost your mood, which is a nice benefit in the fall months, when many of us tend to get moody!
Wondering how to get more pumpkin into your diet? Check back each Friday this month for a delicious pumpkin recipe!
* For more on the health benefits of pumpkin, check out this article from Medical News Today.