5 Impressive Health Reasons You Should Eat Pumpkin This Halloween

Got a pumpkin or two lying around this Halloween? If you’ve previously been tossing

away your triangled-eyed friend once the festivities are over, then you may be

missing

out on a highly nutritious seasonal vegetable that can add real value to your diet.

 

Eating more pumpkin will benefit you in a number of ways, which is why we’ve pulled

together 5 impressive reasons to make the most out of this seasons wonder food…

 

  1. To fight colds and infections

 

The bright orange hue that comes with pumpkin is from a special phytochemical called

beta-carotene.

 

Beta-carotene turns into Vitamin A within the body and plays a key role in supporting

a healthy immune system 1.

 

  1. Sharp vision

 

Eyesight diminishes with age, but fortunately by fuelling our body with the right

nutrients we can lower the risk of sight loss.

 

Pumpkin’s rich content of vitamin A supports healthy vision, but it’s also rich in plant

compounds including lutein and zeaxanthin which are associated with a reduced risk of

age-related macular degeneration and cataracts 2.

 

  1. Weight loss

 

Pumpkin has a similar consistency to starchy carbohydrates such as potato. This

means it can make a tasty and satisfying alternative to sweet potato, yet comes with as

few as 26 calories per 100g.

 

Have a go at switching spaghetti for spiralized pumpkin spaghetti, or your mash potato

for a pumpkin mash, which can save calories without compromising on flavour.

 

  1. Skin Glow

 

Pumpkin’s rich source of vitamin A means that it is the perfect vegetable for glowing

skin.

 

Vitamin A is a key nutrient required for supporting the daily replacement of skin cells,

and is critical for the formation of healthy skin. Its precursor beta-carotene is an

antioxidant found in abundance in pumpkin and has been shown to play a role in

protecting skins cells from sun damage 3, which is critical for the prevention of ageing

skin.

 

  1. Heart Health

 

It’s not just pumpkin flesh which is highly nutritious, pumpkin seeds are also a

top source of magnesium, fibre and healthy polyunsaturated fats. All of these

components play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure 4 and supporting a

healthy heart.

 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27315229
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3021198/#CR28
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/96/5/1179S/4577133
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21545273

 

 

By Lily Soutter, BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT