5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE EATING PUMPKIN
Just because October is over doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating pumpkin. I know that pumpkins are often associated with Halloween, but pumpkins never go out of season. Pumpkin is an extremely healthy food choice with many health benefits. Pumpkin can help your eye and skin health, and they can even support weight loss.
If you’ve never cooked with pumpkin, don’t worry, it is pretty straightforward. Cooking with pumpkin is much like cooking with any other squash. You will have to do the usual peeling, seeding and chopping, but you’ll be rewarded with a nutritious powerhouse that can help you toward your weight, skin and wellness goals.
Here are five reasons why you should be eating pumpkin.
#1: THEY’RE GREAT FOR YOUR SKIN
Even though we live in Florida, you are probably getting less sunlight since the days are shorter and the sun is less intense this time of year. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get sun damage which is one of the quickest ways to age your skin.
The good news is that pumpkins have a ton of antioxidants, which help protect your skin from damage. They’re rich in beta-carotene, which acts as a sort of sunblock. When you eat pumpkin, your body sends beta-carotene to your skin and other organs. Once there, it can help protect you against UV rays.
This is not a reason to skip sunscreen, but if you’re looking for a way to give your skin an extra layer of protection, pumpkin is it. In addition to protecting your skin from sun damage, pumpkin can also help your body make collagen, the protein that helps you fight wrinkles.
#2: PUMPKINS ARE PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS AND VITAMINS
Just one cup of cooked pumpkin has:
- More than twice your daily recommended amount of vitamin A
- Nearly 20% of the vitamin C you need each day
- About 15% of your daily recommended dose of potassium
Pumpkin also contains:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin E
- A little bit of protein
Eating pumpkin is kind of like taking a multivitamin.
In the middle of a pandemic and with flu season in full swing, giving your body what it needs — like plenty of vitamin C — can make a huge difference.
On top of all of the other health benefits, pumpkin has a lot of antioxidants. Basically, your cells face oxidative stress on a daily basis. And this can lead to a whole bunch of serious chronic health conditions (including cancer). Antioxidants give your cells a way to combat that stress and stay healthy.
If you’re looking for a wellness boost, pumpkin delivers.
#3: PUMPKIN HELP YOUR EYES
Pumpkin has vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lutein, all of which help your eyes. Zeaxanthin and lutein are both carotenoids, just like the beta-carotene we talked about earlier. Your body takes these carotenoids to your eyes to protect them. In fact, both of these compounds have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration as you get older.
We don’t really know what all of this screen time is going to do to our eyes down the road, but why not use pumpkin to help offset some of the damage.
#4: PUMPKINS CAN SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS
Pumpkins are about 94% water so they are pretty much completely water (which your body needs) and nutrients. You’re only putting good stuff into your body when you eat it.
A cup of pumpkin has just 49 calories. Think about how full you’ll feel after eating a whole cup of pumpkin. This is a filling, ultra-healthy food that can be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight or just be healthier in general.
#5: THEY’RE DELICIOUS!
The best thing about pumpkin is that they taste great. They’re easy to eat and you can add them to almost anything, savory or sweet.
As you can see there are a number of health benefits to pumpkin so why not add a little more pumpkin to your diet and see how you feel.
If you need diet, nutrition or workout guidance, don’t hesitate to contact me.