Pumpkin is good for the eyes. We were taught about that at school with our parents forced feeding us with all kinds of pumpkin dishes and desserts. But did you know that pumpkin is more than just an eye food?
The following are some of the incredible health benefits of pumpkins you probably didn’t know about.
It is great for weight loss
Pumpkin makes a great alternative for rice and potatoes if you are trying to lose weight. It is high in fiber which slows down digestion and makes you feel fuller longer. A cup of canned pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber—higher than what you’d get from two slices of whole wheat bread. Pumpkin is also low in calorie and high in potassium. The latter helps flush out excess salt and water from the body, reducing bloating.
It is an immune booster
This yellow gourd is rich in nutrients necessary in immune health. These include vitamin A which is associated with eyesight, soluble fiber which has direct anti-inflammatory effects to the immune cells, folic acid which is important in DNA and protein synthesis, and riboflavin which helps the body fight bacterial infections.
It is the skin’s best friend
Pumpkin contains beta-carotene that protects skin from the wrinkle-causing ultraviolet rays of the sun, keeping you younger-looking even at age 40 or 50. It is also high in vitamin C and E that stimulate collagen production, keeping your skin firm and elastic. Its vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) content is known to reduce visible signs of ageing like skin spots.
It reduces your risk to cancer
Besides being an ubiquitous Halloween feature, the humble squash has many important health uses including fighting many types of cancer. Its beta-carotene content is converted in the body into vitamin A antioxidant, which protects our cells against cancer-causing free radicals. Its seeds contain the human hormone estrogen mimicking compound phytoestrogens, which can help prevent breast cancer. It is also high in fiber, which studies found capable of reducing breast cancer risk among women.
It is a fertility and pregnancy food
Pumpkin is one of the super foods for fertility and pregnancy. It contains many of the essential nutrients needed by a developing fetus. It is particularly rich in protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, niacin, calcium, phosphorus and iron. It may be served baked, boiled, roasted or steamed, or used in purees and soup. Its seeds can be a tasty snack when roasted.