Pumpkin pie, pumpkin squash, ravioli, bread, pumpkin beer, risotto; the options for pumpkin lovers are unlimited. Come fall and these orange gourds start dominating the menu. Most of us love pumpkin because of its taste. However, it is much more than a holiday decoration and food option. When consumed regularly, this creepy vegetable can help you keep your heart healthy, vision strong, and your waistline in check. Here is why pumpkins are considered as a superfood for people who want to stay healthy and look young.
Pumpkins can help you lose weight
Like all other fibrous food, this orange vegetable also makes you feel fuller for a longer duration and therefore, can help you minimise your calorie intake. One cup of pumpkin has approximately 50 calories, much less than many other foods that you eat. Being a fibre-rich food, it can help you shed some extra pounds without cutting down your portion size. Some studies have concluded that people who eat fibre-rich food such as pumpkin before the meal are more likely to consume fewer calories during the meal. So, if your New Year resolution is to lose weight, include pumpkin in your diet.
It can help you keep your eyesight healthy
Pumpkin is a wonderful food for your eyes. Its orange colour comes from beta-carotene, which is present in it in ample amount. Our body can convert Beta-carotene into Vitamin A, an essential ingredient for eye health. Vitamin A helps our retina absorb the light and process it. It is found that 1 cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of our daily requirement of vitamin A! Further, lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in this orange vegetable, can prevent cataract and delay macular degeneration, a process that causes age-related vision problems.
It may lower cancer risk
A few studies have concluded that beta-carotene, the antioxidant found in ample quantity in pumpkin, may minimise your cancer risk. According to Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, regular consumption of beta-carotene rich diet can provide you ample protection against prostate cancer. It may also minimise the risk of various other forms of cancers such as colon cancer and lung cancer.
Pumpkins can improve your immunity
If you are more prone to seasonal diseases such as cough, cold, fever, infections, etc. pumpkins could be good for you. Studies have found that this orange vegetable can boost your immune system, thereby helping you stay healthy. It is a rich source of vitamin C. One cup of cooked pumpkin has approximately 11 milligrams of vitamin C, approximately 20% of our daily requirement. Vitamin C is an immune booster. When consumed regularly in appropriate quantity, it can help you stay away from cold, flu, and other diseases.
It can help you look young
Ladies, if you are looking for a magic pill that can prevent wrinkling and, at the same time, help you keep your skin shiny and healthy, eat pumpkins. Numerous studies have indicated that beta-carotene can protect your skin from UV rays. Further, pumpkin facemask is highly effective for preventing wrinkles and retaining the youthful look of your skin. Mix ¼ cup pumpkin puree with one egg and a tablespoon of honey. Apply it on your face and neck and let it dry. Rinse with warm water. You will be able to see results immediately.
Some lesser-known benefits of pumpkins are:
- It is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that acts as a vasodilator. Potassium can dilate the blood vessels and improve blood circulation, thereby improving your blood pressure.
- It is rich in fibre and therefore, it is helpful for people suffering from constipation.
- Pumpkins can make you happy! Yes, it’s true. This orange vegetable is a rich source of L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our body cannot produce. Lack of L-tryptophan causes depression. You have to provide this amino acid through food and pumpkins can be one of the best choices.
This article has given you enough reasons to include pumpkin in your everyday diet. Eat healthy, stay healthy; this is the only way you can live a happy life.
Have you seen the clean recipes ebook? Inside you’ll find heaps of clean eating recipes, featuring pumpkin of course along with all of our favorite clean eating foods, check it out below.