Pumpkins are more versatile than you think. You can have it as mash, pie, or pumpkin bread and incorporate pumpkin in savoury and sweet dishes.
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What are the Health Benefits of Pumpkin? Let’s find out.
1. Good for the Eyes
Like carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene. When consumed, your body transforms this antioxidant into vitamin A.
Vitamin A helps the eyes, heart, lungs and kidneys. This vitamin also helps your reproductive system work the way it should. Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant and works with vitamin C to help protect against sun damage.
Beta-carotene, as well as vitamins C and E, are all found in Pumpkin. This helps protect the eyes and reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases.
2. Good for the Skin
The antioxidants that can be found in pumpkins are good for the skin. These include vitamins C and E and beta carotene can protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
Since vitamins C and E are often used as an ingredient in skin-care products, they help boost skincare, even more, when eaten. Vitamin C is vital in the production of collagen, a component of your skin that promotes elasticity. Vitamin E in pumpkin may also help reduce inflammation in the skin, which improves the skin’s appearance.
Pumpkin is not just for eating. You can make Pumpkin Spice Body Scrubs or Pumpkin Puree Moisturizers or you can use pumpkin puree right on your skin as a mask and leave it on for several minutes before washing it off.
3. Good for the Heart
Pumpkins contain certain nutrients that are good for the heart, particularly, potassium. This helps reduce high blood pressure levels.
In addition, the fibre that can be found in pumpkins may help lower blood cholesterol levels.
4. Pumpkins may help reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure
Since pumpkins are rich in beta carotene and fibre, it helps in improving your metabolic health. It can help in balancing out blood sugar to regulate carb-containing foods. Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are some metabolic syndromes that pumpkin may help prevent the development of.
Controlling Diabetes – One of the Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Studies indicate that some of the macromolecules in pumpkin seeds may help manage blood sugar.
Studies such as this show that magnesium deficiency is common in people with insulin resistance. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium. One ounce (1/4 cup or 29 grams) of pumpkin seeds contains 168 milligramsTrusted Source (mg) of magnesium.
Pumpkin has a high GI (glycemic index) number but low GL (glycemic load). This means that the health benefits of Pumpkin will be impaired if you eat a large amount due to spiking sugar. To maximise the health benefits of pumpkin, eat small portions.
There are claims that Pumpkin helps with increasing insulin production, however, I couldn’t find studies that show this.
Controlling high blood pressure – Possible health benefits of pumpkin
Increased blood pressure forces your heart to work harder, which can put a strain on the heart muscle and eventually lead to heart disease.
Pumpkins may also help reduce blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium in salt.
5. Carotenoids content in Pumpkin may lower the risk of Cancer
Carotenoids are pigments with inverse cancer associations.
Pumpkins are high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. This antioxidant can help lower your risk of getting certain types of cancer, particularly gastric cancer.
Also, see (unaffiliated external links)
- Pumpkins are recommended for breast cancer
- A study finds an association between high β-carotene and lower risk, improved outcomes in breast cancer
- Cancer prevention by natural carotenoids
6. Support for the immune system
Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A when consumed. Research has demonstrated that vitamin A is important in promoting immune function. Vitamin C also contributes to immune activity facilitating immune cell activity and increasing white blood cells.
7. Low-calorie count in pumpkin may promote weight loss
As per USDA data, 100g (around 1 cup) of raw pumpkin contains just 26 calories. So, depending on your mode of cooking, you can pack in a whole lot of nutrition in a relatively low number of calories. Pumpkin is an excellent source of fibre and the calories in pumpkin are full of nutrition. A cooked cup of mashed pumpkin only contains around 50 calories and will be very satisfying and keep feeling full for longer.
If you are on a high-carb, low-fat diet, then pumpkin is perfect. Pumpkin can be baked into pies and cakes, added into smoothies, mashed and eaten as is for a quick, healthy snack.
Conclusion – health benefits of pumpkin
Pumpkins are incredibly healthy and rich in nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. It’s an extremely versatile vegetable that can serve as the main ingredient for many desserts and other savoury dishes. You can also turn it into moisturizers or scrubs which may have some benefits for your skin.
To get the maximum Health Benefits of Pumpkin, you need to eat it in moderation as pumpkin is a high GI (but low GL) food.