It’s that time of year again for pumpkin carving, pumpkin pies and plenty of pumpkin spice treats. Here are some health benefits to eating pumpkin that people may not know about.
- Vital Vitamins: Pumpkin is packed with vitamins vital for good health such as Vitamin A, C and E. Vitamin A is thought to help prolong and promote eye health so when you’re eating that extra slice of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, you can say it is actually for your eyesight. Plus, since vitamin C is a fantastic aide for the immune system, eating a bit of pumpkin each day could keep illness and eye problems away.
- Fiber: If you are looking for a sweet dose of fiber, try eating some pumpkin. By eating raw or canned pumpkin, you’ll be getting some fiber needed for healthier digestion. Fiber takes longer to digest so it may cause you to feel more full; this may encourage you to eat more proportionate meals and potentially lose weight, if that is your goal.
- Lower that Blood Pressure: Between the Vitamin C, potassium and fiber found in pumpkin, it is thought to aid in heart health and lowering blood pressure. While lowering sodium intake is important for a normal blood pressure range, so is having an adequate amount of potassium in your diet.
- Sleep Aide: Pumpkin seeds have tryptophan, the amino acid often considered to be responsible for the post-Thanksgiving meal sleepiness. Pumpkin seeds are one of the top ten seeds packed with tryptophan; if you are having trouble sleeping, save those seeds from your Halloween pumpkin carving this year and give them a try to see if you sleep better. A popular preparation is salting and pan-frying in a small amount of oil.
- Minerals: Some minerals such as zinc and magnesium are found in pumpkin seeds. Zinc in particular is a great thing to gain from eating pumpkin seeds because zinc is thought to aide in hormone production, fertility, prostate health and much more.