7 Little-Known Health Benefits of Pumpkin
As a kid, I never thought of eating pumpkin. It may sound odd to some of you, but I thought it was just something that we carved faces in.
And it smelled disgusting to me. Why would anyone actually eat that?
Well you can, and many people do (shocking, I know). And even more shocking, it’s actually both delicious and nutritious.
I still wouldn’t recommend chowing down on the jack-o-lantern that you’ve had on your porch for a few weeks, but here are 7 reasons that pumpkin – including the pumpkin seeds inside – are superb for you.
7 Cool Health Benefits of Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds
1. You Can See Better. Ever wonder why pumpkin is the color it is? To a degree it’s because of the carotene in pumpkin. Beta-Carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, which is important for a variety of reasons, including being critical for your eyes, not to mention your heart, lungs, and kidneys.
2. You’ll Get Fewer Wrinkles. Pumpkin has a variety of cartenoids (including beta-carotene). Carotenoids are substances that help neutralize free radicals that otherwise damage and wrinkle your skin.
3. You’ll Be Happier. Hopefully, you’re happy because you like eating pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. In addition, though, pumpkin seeds have a good amount of tryptophan, which eventually becomes Serotonin in your body. Serotonin in one of the chemicals in your body that naturally makes you happy and improves your mood.
4. You’ll Be More Relaxed. Pumpkins are relatively high in potassium, which many of us get too little of these days. Potassium needs to balance out all the sodium in our diets, and it helps to keep us relaxed by lowering our blood pressure. Pretty important.
5. You’ll Have Stronger Bones. Most people think they need to take in more calcium to have stronger bones. While calcium is somewhat important, several studies have shown that zinc is crucial to maintaining strong bones. Fortunately, pumpkin seeds are higher in zinc than most other foods.
6. You’ll Age Slower. This is a bit of a stretch, but it’s an important point. Lots of foods contain anti-oxidants, but very few foods contain as wide of a range of anti-oxidants as pumpkin seeds. And a wide range is very important, because it’s not just the amount of anti-oxidants that you get, but also the variation and range. Among the numerous benefits of getting a range of anti-oxidants is that your body literally ages slower, since oxidation is one of the roots of aging.
7. You’ll Likely Just Feel Better. We could list a number of other benefits, but one of the best features of pumpkin seeds is that they have a wide range of minerals, like phosphorus, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and copper. All of these minerals are very important for your body to function correctly, and you may be low in any number of them.
It’s Pumpkin Season
Eating foods that are in season is awesome, because they’re usually fresher, cheaper, and often support your local economy. As much as we like staying healthy, it’s important to remember that there are also other important reasons to eat local, in-season food.
Fall is the season for pumpkins in the Northern Hemisphere, so in addition to carving your Jack-o-Lantern this year, go out and also try to eat one!