13 BIG Reasons Why You Should Eat Pumpkins

what exactly is a pumpkin

Pumpkins – what’s the first thing you think of?

Whether the first thing that crosses your mind is a pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving or Halloween night, you should perhaps consider the following:

  • One cup of cooked pumpkin has mere 50 calories and about 3 grams of fiber (more fiber than kale)
  • One cup serving of pumpkin puree has 1,906 micrograms of vitamin A
  • One cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium (10 percent of daily requirements)
  • One ounce of pumpkin seeds has around 1.7 grams of fiber
  • One cup of pumpkin has 3.4 milligrams of iron
  • One cup of canned pumpkin has half a gram of fat
  • One cup of cooked pumpkin has more than 11 milligrams of vitamin C (20 percent of daily requirements)
  • Pumpkins are 90 percent water

Pumpkins are nutrient-packed food that should be a common dish during the fall season.

These ubiquitous fall fruits are one of the most delicious health-boosting snacks.

The most important thing is their contribution to overall health – bright orange color implies the rich content of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, while pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, protein, magnesium and omega-3s. What does this mean? Vitamin A supports the vision and protects against degenerative effects of aging, and rich nutrients in pumpkin seeds promote prostate and heart health.

How well do you know the health potential of pumpkins? Here are the reasons why you should include pumpkin into your diet.

 

#1 Digestive health – pumpkins promote healthy digestion

Digestive health – pumpkins promote healthy digestion
Fiber is the key nutrient that regulates healthy digestion – most people only get half of the daily-recommended amount, which is 30-50 grams. Due to the rich content of fiber, pumpkins satisfy your daily dietary fiber needs.

Pumpkins also increase satiation (help you feel fuller for longer) and slow down digestion.

 

#2 Heart health – fiber protects from heart disease

One study conducted over a 10 years span that included over 67,000 women showed that those who have a diet high in fiber reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

#3 Prostate health – pumpkin seeds contribute to prostate cancer prevention

Pumpkins for prostate health – pumpkin seeds contribute to prostate cancer prevention
Phytosterol is the compound in pumpkin seeds that protect the prostate.

Pumpkin seeds also contain compounds that lower the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Due to rich amount of zinc, pumpkin seeds should make a way to every men’s diet plan – several studies showed that zinc helps slow down the progression of prostate malignancy and contributes to the prevention of prostate cancer.

 

#4 Nervous system health – magnesium in pumpkins promotes relaxation

One of the essential minerals, which aid in many physiological functions (such as the creation of ATP – the energy molecules of your body) is magnesium.

Many people are deficient in magnesium (around 80% in America) which means they are more prone to being nervous and anxious. Magnesium helps relaxation of the nervous system, and one ounce of pumpkin seeds is about 30 percent of daily-recommended requirements of magnesium.

 

#5 Healthy sleep – pumpkin and pumpkins seeds regulate sleep

pumpkin and pumpkins seeds regulate sleep

Pumpkins are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin, which aids and promote sleep. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system and supports healthy and peaceful sleep.

 

#6 Pumpkins for strong immunity – essential minerals and vitamins strengthen the immune system

Zinc, magnesium, vitamins A and C are all essential nutrients that empower the immune system. When our body lacks these important nutrients, we are more prone to infections. These compounds regulate the immune system and decrease the risk of viral infections such as cold, flu, and chronic fatigue.

 

#7 Healthy reproductive system – antioxidants protect reproductive organs

pumpkin for healthy reproductive system

Antioxidants are powerful compounds that play a key role in the protection of the reproductive system. Once beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, it protects the cells in the body, helping the immunity system and keeping the reproductive system healthy.

 

#8 Healthy weight – fiber supports healthy weight

With only 50 calories per cup, the fiber in pumpkins will help us feel fuller for longer which, in turn, promotes healthy digestion, as already noted. Healthy digestion is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Fiber will also help regulate the blood sugar levels and keep food cravings at bay, which will help to consume less calories and burning more fat.

 

#9 Sharp and healthy eyesight – vitamins A protects the eyes

pumpkins for sharp and healthy eyesight

Given a cup of pumpkin will meet the daily requirements of vitamin A, and, according to the National Institute of Health, including it into your diet will help protect the eyes and aid in protecting from vision-related conditions.

 

#10 Healthy skin and hair – omega fatty acids and vitamin E promote skin and hair health

Pumpkin seeds contain omega fatty acid and vitamins A, C and E that help keep the skin and hair healthy. Carotenoids have free-radical neutralizing powers, which keep the skin wrinkle-free, vibrant, and elastic.

Pumpkin juice is one the common ways to include pumpkins in your diet – a glass of pumpkin juice supplies the skin with essential compounds keeping the skin youthful and hydrated, regardless of the skin type.

 

#11 Strong muscles and bones – potassium, zinc, calcium and magnesium help with pain relief

Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that help reduce the pain without side effects, which makes the seeds a natural remedy to fight symptoms of arthritis.

Potassium deficiency can lead to muscle pain and inactive reflexes. Calcium, magnesium and zinc keep the bones strong and protect against osteoporosis.

 

#12 Healthy and joyful mood – pumpkin seeds combat depression

Serotonin deficiency is omnipresent today, and the best way to make sure you are producing natural serotonin is to include food rich in amino acid tryptophan, which is converted in the body into serotonin – that it, your diet should include pumpkin seeds.

Tryptophan is also linked to reducing depression given it creates serotonin and melatonin, and other mood boosting neurotransmitters. A handful of pumpkin seeds is also rich in vitamin B that helps relieve anxiety.

 

#13 Pumpkins are superfood!

Canned, roasted, cooked or raw, pumpkins have essential nutrients that are ultimate health boosters.

 

Are you convinced? When you think of pumpkins – think health.

 
Images credit: depositphotos.com

 
Last article update: 9/3/2019