Halloween is just around the corner which means many of you will be making a visit to the pumpkin patch and selecting pumpkins to carve out for decorations. If you’ve simply been throwing out the freshly carved out pumpkin flesh, then you’re making a fatal flaw. While most people regard this vegetable as a mere decoration on your front porch, it is actually a hidden superfood with abundant nutritional values. Don’t let the rest of the pumpkin go to waste and instead, incorporate them into a vegetable medley, hearty soup, breakfast muffin, or a delicious pie.
Here are just 4 incredible health benefits of the humble pumpkin.
1. Improves eyesight
One cup of pumpkin contains over twice the amount of recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which helps promote optimal vision health by sharpening your vision especially under dim lighting. Vitamin A is also helpful in slowing the decline of retinal function for those with a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which could lead to blindness.
2. Maintains youthful skin
Consuming pumpkin can help your skin looking youthful and healthy. Beta-carotene present in pumpkins helps protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Additionally, the various antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals it contains, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxyl acids, have anti-aging effects. They help increase cell turnover, soften the skin, and control oil production and hormone level.
3. Accelerates weight loss
Pumpkins are surprisingly rich in fiber, which helps maintain regular bowel movement and smooth digestion. Besides reducing constipation and intestinal inflammation, consuming pumpkin could also speed up weight loss. One cup of pumpkin only has 49 calories, but contains up to 5 grams of fiber and is nearly fat-free. A fiber-rich diet can keep you feeling full longer on fewer calories, an excellent solution for overeating and curbing your hunger.
4. Regulates blood pressure and lowers risk of heart diseases
Pumpkins have ample amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, all of which support cardiovascular health. A Harvard study showed that men who consumed more fiber had a 40% lower risk of developing coronary heart diseases. Another study conducted by Swedish researchers concluded that women with higher fiber intake had 25% lower risk of developing heart diseases.
Start incorporating pumpkin into your diet regimen and experience positive long-term health benefits.