The Pumpkin and Halloween are synonymous because of a tradition in America that started in the 1800s for the autumn season. For that reason, many people think little more of the yellow-orange squash than its use as a Jack-O-Lantern and maybe as pie filling afterwards.
But there’s more to the pumpkin than a Halloween decoration. This versatile fruit ─ yes, fruit, according to its definition and many sites including the Mayo Clinic ─ has many nutrients up its well…amber-shelled “sleeve” as it were, like vitamins and minerals that include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Thiamin, B-6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. Yet it is low in calories. So that makes the pumpkin a very versatile, multi-beneficial, nutrient-dense fruit indeed.
Here are 6 ways the widely-available pumpkin can boost your health:
The Fiber, Potassium, and Vitamin C content in pumpkin is good for the heart. For the treatment of hypertension or High Blood Pressure, consuming Potassium is almost as important as decreasing salt intake.
According to Today’s Dietitian Magazine, increased potassium intake is associated with reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density, and reduction of kidney stone formation.
2 Anti-Cancer, especially Prostate and Colon Cancer
The Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition has found that consumption of Beta-Carotene reduces the occurrence of prostate cancer. Beta-carotene has also been shown in the next study from the Department of Gastroenterology, Japanese Red Cross Kyoto Daiichi Hospital, to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.
3 Promotes Eye Health
Everybody knows the benefits of the Beta-Carotene in red foods such as carrots, which is why the carrot is often cited to be good for the eyes. But did you know that the same nutrients, in fact more, are also found in the pumpkin as well?
The antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.
A study, involving more than 100,000 participants, concluded that antioxidant vitamins and Beta-Carotene does lower the risk of age-related maculopathy ─ damage to the part of the eye that provides our central vision. So, keep ’em forever sharp with a dose of pumpkin resilience!
4 Boosts Fertility
Consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets appear to promote fertility in women, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications.
The Vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as Beta-Carotene which is then converted Vitamin A in the body) is also essential for pregnancy and lactation.
5 Raises Immunity
Naturally, all these nutrients in the plump orange fruit will give a boost to natural immunity when consumed regularly.
6 Soothes GI tract
While it is a known as a natural remedy for the runs in people, and is indicated for ulcer and high acidity, pumpkin (paste) or canned pumpkins is also just as effective in stopping diarrhoea in dogs and cats.
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