Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Why you should incorporate pumpkin into your diet right now!

 

For many of us pumpkins only appear as Jack-o’-lanterns and flavouring in our coffee, but how much do you know about pumpkin? Natural pumpkin has a number of health benefits, so whilst pumpkin treats can be added to your diet once in a while, pumpkin should be incorporated more often. Pumpkins are high in nutritional value, rich in minerals and vitamins and also low in calories. So we should all be adding them to our diets and if that isn’t enough for
you here is simple guide to the health benefits of pumpkin and why you should be obsessed with it.

Feel Fuller and aid weight loss

We all want to feel fuller for longer and pumpkin seeds may be the answer. Fiber helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer on lower calories and keeps your appetite at bay. Pumpkin seeds contain around 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce and can help you to feel fuller for longer.

Boost Vision

Vitamin A is known to promote good vision. According to one Harvard study vitamin A slows the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa which is a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness. Luckily for us a cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.

Lower blood pressure

There is a lot of research looking into pumpkin seed oil and the benefits it has. Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens and research has suggested that is it beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats the oil they found that it helped lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure within 12 weeks.

Benefits of pumpkin
Sleep better

Tryptophan is the amino acid that famously contributes to after dinner sleepiness. Pumpkin is a rich source of tryptophan and can help you unwind and feel sleepy

Improve mood

Tryptophan also helps to make serotonin the famous feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan so they can help you to unwind, feel sleepy and improve your mood all at the same time.

Protect your package

Pumpkins and even more so the seeds are high in beta-carotene.  This beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that gives orange fruit and vegetables their vibrant colour. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain type of cancer. Pumpkin seeds can be especially beneficial for men as
researchers found that pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats.
Research has shown that restricting dietary zinc intake can lower levels of testosterone after just 20 weeks. Luckily or us one quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 2.75mg of zinc (17% of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual growth.

 
Protect your skin

The carotenoids in pumpkins that can help to keep cancer cells at bay can also keep your skin looking younger for longer. Including pumpkin into your meals is a simple and quick way to look after your skin.

Post workout snack

You may have heard that bananas are natures energy bar but it turns out they are not alone. A cup of cooked pumpkin actually has more of the refueling nutrient potassium. Whilst a banana has 422 milligrams the pumpkin contains 564.  Extra potassium can restore your balance of electrolytes after a workout and keep muscles functioning to their best. So instead of bananas why no switch it up and have some post workout pumpkin.

Look after your ticker

Having a high fiber diet can really help to look after your heart. One study found that those who ate a high fiber diet had a 40 % lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who ate a low fiber diet. As we have already discussed pumpkin is a perfect way to add fiber into your diet. Pumpkin seeds also contain chemical called phytosterols which have been shown to lowed “bad” cholesterol. There is still more, the potassium within the pumpkin can also have a positive effect on blood pressure. These benefits cannot be added through pumpkin flavouring or unhealthy pumpkin deserts. Instead why don’t you try some chunks of roasted pumpkin or adding pumpkin seeds to the top of your salads.

Immune system booster

Pumpkin can help you to look after your immune system. Pumpkin pulp and seeds are high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin A. These are all great immune system boosters. The beta-carotene is converted in to Vitamin A and this triggers the creation of white blood cells which fight infections. So get some pumpkin into your diet and help boost your immune system.

Pumpkin can help you to look after your immune system. Pumpkin pulp and seeds are high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin A. These are all great immune system boosters. The beta-carotene is converted in to Vitamin A and this triggers the creation of white blood cells which fight infections. So get some pumpkin into your diet and help boost your immune system.

Let me know any of your favourite pumpkin recipes in the comments below.

Namaste and always stay Zen

 

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