Pumpkin Health Benefits
Fall is here! I do not know about you, but I love to enjoy everything pumpkin, but did you know there are many pumpkin health benefits? There are, and below I will share 8 of them with you.
Fall is such a beautiful time of year with the changing colors of the leaves, and all the smells that come with the new season. The stores are switching to warmer clothes, kids are looking forward to the upcoming school breaks, and the Fall recipes are emerging online. Even the farmers are gathering their bales for the must-have hay rides and readying their pumpkin patches for the eager pickers.
Pumpkins are a common staple for a garden, and the uses of the orange gourds are boundless. From recipes to decorations, the pumpkin is a long-standing tradition to bring in the Fall season. Aside from celebrating the cooler weather and changing season, there are other aspects that should excite us about the pumpkin. It is a wonderful thing with all of the pumpkin health benefits to enjoy from them.
There’s a reason this vegetable is popular among farmers and cooks – their health benefits. The pumpkin health benefits are staggering and largely unknown to most of us. They are usually overlooked when focusing on nutrition, and can be consumed in a variety of ways. The benefits are too many to list, but here are the top eight pumpkin health benefits. Number 6 is my favorite!
8 Pumpkin Health Benefits
1.) Lower blood sugar: Studies have revealed that pumpkins increase glucose tolerance and that it increases the body’s production of insulin.
2.) Weight loss: Pumpkin is rich in fiber, and keep you filling full as it slows digestion. In just one cup of pumpkin, there are seven grams of fiber. It has low calories, too!
3.) Healthy eyes: Just like the carrot, pumpkin’s orange coloring comes from its beta-carotene. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A which is crucial for healthy eyes. One cup of pumpkin has 246% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.
4.) Improved immunity: The high doses vitamin A also helps to fight off infections, viruses, and infectious diseases. It also has 20% of the RDA of vitamin C which also combats colds.
5.) Good for your heart: The seeds of pumpkins, like most seeds, are rich in phytosterol which lowers bad cholesterol.
6.) Make you feel good: Pumpkin seeds also contain high levels of tryptophan, the amino acid that produces serotonin. Serotonin aids in controlling your mood.
7.) Restores electrolytes: The pumpkin is rich in potassium which brings up low levels of electrolytes after a workout. One cup of pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium which far exceeds the famous potassium-packed banana.
8.) Smooth skin: According to a recent report, the carotenoids in pumpkin protects the skin from harmful UV rays. This helps keep the skin smooth and wrinkle-free.
Who knew the pumpkin was such a powerhouse of nutrition? And the recipes that include pumpkin are endless. There are muffins, breads, pies, smoothies, soups and more ways to consume the pumpkin health benefits. The best part is that the canned stuff (organic without additives) is just as good as the fresh pumpkin. So, eat up!
How To Choose The Perfect Pumpkin
Headed to a pumpkin patch to pick your own? Here are just a few tips on how to choose the perfect pumpkin.
When choosing a pumpkin, looking at the outside is the first way to determine which ones are the good ones. Avoid gourds with soft spots, dark bruises, and any cuts in the skin. Check the bottom for imperfections as well. Look for a brightly-colored pumpkin with minimal damage. Check the strength of the skin by poking it with your fingernail. If it doesn’t indent it, then it’s a strong skin.
Do not pick up a pumpkin by the stem. Should the stem break off, it will leave a gaping wound in the skin leaving it prone to infection and, eventually, rot. Carry a pumpkin by carrying the entire gourd, not just the stem. You should also make sure when picking right from the vine, you leave at least a few inches of the stem attached for the same reason.
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