Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin flavored pancakes, and pumpkin breads. Marketing campaigns tend to go crazy with all the pumpkin flavors this time of year, and so do consumers. I mean don’t get me wrong I love the taste of pumpkin pie in the fall; it just does something to me. Since this is the time for all things pumpkin, lets take a look at the great benefits this healthful food has to offer. Aids in Weight Loss
Pumpkin can fill you up fast with little calorie intake. This is because pumpkins contain quite a bit of fiber, 3 grams per one cup, with only 49 calories. Wowzer bobs! You could eat pumpkin all day…. if that’s what you’re into. Foods that contain high levels of fiber allow people to fill up sooner, stay full for longer, and are low in calories. This allows for your body to be able to shed pounds in a healthy way.
Pumpkin contains about 20% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital to our immune system, most of us know this, but many of us don’t necessarily know why. Well let me tell you, our white blood cells thrive off of vitamin C. In fact white blood cells require 20 times more vitamin C then regular cells to perform there job to the best of there ability. Pumpkin also contains a large amount of beta-Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps fight off infections and viruses.
It’s Great For Skin
UV rays from the sun can be very damaging. Beta Carotene can help prevent this damage from occurring and save you from the wrinkles that may ensue. Everyone wants younger skin, right? Whelp, pumpkin can sure help you out with that. Not only by eating it, but also by creating a facial mask from its orange pulp. Do a quick Google search for a recipe, and try it out!
Lowers Cancer Risk
Vitamins A, C, and many other antioxidants in pumpkins are cell protective. They prevent damage to cellular DNA from free radicals. This is a mechanism that can lead to cancers. But don’t think that substituting the real thing for an isolated vitamin that you find on store shelves will work just as well. Many studies back that getting your nutrients from the real deal, have exponentially more benefits then getting them from vitamin supplements. So don’t be shy girl, chow down!
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to the hormone serotonin, which plays a huge role in mood stability and preventing depression.
Pumpkins are anti-inflammatory and have proven to work better then some anti-inflammatory drugs on the market.
Good source of Plant Based Omega 3s
Nuts and seeds in general are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is then converted by the body into a usable form of omega 3 fatty acids. Omegas 3s are beneficial to brain health and are potent anti-inflammatory agents.
Healthy eyes, healthy heart, and insulin regulation are also great perks that pumpkins afford if you take the time to savor their flavor! The flavor has to be from the whole food by the way, pumpkin spice lattes won’t cut it! Sorry ladies…. But if you feel like splurging, one wont hurt.