Fall is here folks, and that means the pumpkin overload has arrived! However, the phenomenon we have all come to know and love has one thing in common: sugar. The fall season brings forth everything pumpkin: pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and of course, the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. But where’s the fresh pumpkin?
Many people may not know, but pumpkin offers a variety of nutritional benefits and maybe after reading this you’ll think twice before carving your Jack-O-Lantern for decoration this year.
Pumpkin is a gourd, but unlike squash or zucchini, it has a softer texture when cooked, similar to sweet potatoes. But there are only few restaurants that use pumpkin outside of the bakery – something I don’t quite understand, because it is extremely healthy! So what can pumpkin do for you?
If you choose to eat fresh pumpkin instead of the sweet, sugar-filled treats, you will benefit greatly from the high fiber content pumpkins have. The high fiber will help to slow your digestion, which will keep you full longer, making it easier to avoid overeating and taking in higher concentrations of sugar. Simultaneously, more than half of pumpkin is water, so like watermelon, it will keep you hydrated, another factor that will aid in weight loss.
Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?
Eye sight is important, and what’s better than a delicious food that can keep your vision spot on? Pumpkin is a great source of vitamins and nutrients that maintain eye health, including Vitamin A. But pumpkin also contains carotenoids, which are the pigments that give pumpkins their orange color, and these carotenes are processed into Vitamin A in the human body. Remember what your parents told you about eating carrots? The same rule applies to pumpkins. According to CNN, pumpkins have over 200 percent of the average person’s daily intake of Vitamin A! Talk about a vision.
The world’s most expensive skin care treatment might fall behind pumpkin, so watch out. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, carotenoids (the orange pigment in pumpkins) have displayed natural “photoprotective properties.” Eating foods like pumpkins (sweet potato, mango, or papaya to name a few) can provide the skin with more protection against UV-rays from the sun. With your diet, sunscreen and a daily skin treatment, your skin may avoid accelerated aging, therefore staying supple longer.
Boost Your Immune System
Like oranges, pumpkins also have trace amounts of Vitamin C. This will help to keep your immune system strong and capable of fighting off the bacteria floating around during the colder months of the year.
Whether you’ll be carving or eating, we hope you enjoy the season. As for me, I’m adding pumpkin to my shopping list!