The health benefits of pumpkin29 October 2019
Not just something that sits on your mantle for a week leading up to Halloween. Pumpkins actually have some incredible health benefits to most areas of the body. And here, we’ve delved into some of them:
It helps boost our immune systems
Pumpkins are packed with a load of nutrients that can help boost our immune systems. For starters, pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A.
Vitamin A plays an important role in fighting infection and strengthening our immune systems. And studies have shown that people deficient in vitamin A are more likely to have a weaker immune system.
Similarly, pumpkins also contain high levels of vitamin C, which is proven to increase the production of white blood cells.
Not only this, a dose of pumpkin is also a great source of iron and vitamin E.
It aids weight loss
Although pumpkin rich in many nutrients, it’s actually very low in calories, making it an ideal addition to anyone’s diet where their goal is to lose weight.
In 100g of pumpkin, there’s just under 50 calories and it consists of around 94% water.
Additionally, if it being jam packed with nutrients and low in calories isn’t enough, pumpkin is a great source of fibre too. Dietitian Nutritionist Caroline Kaufman states: “Pumpkin keeps you feeling fuller longer. There’s seven grams of fiber in a cup (around 100g) of canned pumpkin. That’s more than what you’d get in two slices of whole-grain bread.”
It improves heart health
Pumpkin is high in potassium, fibre and vitamin C, all of which have been shown to benefit our hearts.
For example, research into the role potassium plays in our bodies has shown that increased potassium intake helps reduce blood pressure and therefore strokes – two of the main causes of heart failure.
It’s also high in antioxidants which helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in our blood vessels, another factor which can contribute to heart disease.
Reduces the risk of chronic disease
Whilst we’re on the subject of antioxidants, they also play an important role in reducing the amount of free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are produced during the body’s metabolic process which are linked to chronic illness, including cancer.
Promotes healthy skin
In case you needed reminding, pumpkin is full of nutrients. In particular, nutrients that help improve our skin health.
Some of these include carotenoids, such as beta-carotene which the body transforms into vitamin A. And studies show that these help act as a natural sunblock, protecting the skin against damage from harmful UV rays.
We’ve touched on this before, but the vitamin C which pumpkins has plenty of is also vital for keeping skin healthy. Vitamin C is needed by the body to create collagen, an important protein to keep skin fit and healthy.
Incorporating pumpkin into your diet won’t be something you regret. Pumpkin is rich in several minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which makes it extremely healthy.
It’s also incredibly versatile which makes it really easy to add into our diets, whether it be in a superfood salad or some pumpkin soup.