Pumpkin season is finally here! During the month of October and November, you see pumpkins everywhere. There’s the return of pumpkin spice everything, pumpkin pie, and of course, Jack-O-Lantern’s everywhere for Halloween. One of the best fall activities that you can do, solo or with friends and family, is going pumpkin picking. However, this year, when you pick out a pumpkin for Halloween, pick up a few more to consume. Pumpkins are not only delicious. They are also nutritious, as there are many health benefits of pumpkin that many may not be aware of. Low in calories, yet rich in minerals and vitamins, this winter squash packs a powerful punch.
If just thought pumpkins were good for carving Jack-O-Lantern’s think again. Everyone should add more of this winter squash into their diet. Learn more about some of the fantastic health benefits of pumpkin.
• Pumpkin is known to be one of the best sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene rich foods may offer protection against heart disease, asthma, as well as macular degeneration.
• Because pumpkin is chock full of vitamin A (it contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake!), it is a delicious and healthy way to keep your eyesight sharp. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin A helps promote good eyesight, especially in dim light.
• The beta-carotene in pumpkin helps protect our skin from harmful UV rays, helping our skin steer clear of wrinkles. While eating pumpkin can help give you younger-looking skin, the pulp of the pumpkin also makes an excellent face mask. So if you want younger-looking skin, be sure to turn the pulp into an all-natural face mask.
• We already know that pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, but it is also packed with vitamin C. Both are excellent for keeping your immune system healthy and robust. If you want to help your body improve its recovery time after an illness, and help it fight infections and disease, try adding more pumpkin to your daily diet.
• Nobody likes hearing the “c” word, cancer. However, the antioxidant content in pumpkin may help lower your risk of cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Eating a beta-carotene rich diet isn’t just good for your skin and eyes. It can also help ward off certain types of cancer.