Pumpkins are a popular fall and winter harvest vegetable. Harvested during the late summer, they are then canned or dried for preservation. They are also used as decorations for Halloween celebrations. However, pumpkins are not just for Halloween. They are also a versatile and nutritious food that you can use in many different ways.
Pumpkins are actually very healthy and have a wide variety of health benefits, including:
1. Vitamin A – Pumpkins have a high amount of vitamin A, which helps to protect against free radical damage and inflammation.
2. Vitamin C – Pumpkins have twice as much vitamin C as oranges, making them a great immune system booster during cold and flu season.
3. Fiber – Pumpkins are high in fiber and help to improve digestion by helping food move through the intestines more smoothly. This can help prevent constipation, diarrhea, bloating and other digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
4. Potassium – Pumpkins are also high in potassium, which helps to promote heart health by lowering blood pressure levels and preventing blood clots from forming inside your arteries (atherosclerosis).
5. Antioxidants – Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants called carotenoids that help fight free radicals in the body that can cause cell damage due to aging or environmental stressors such as pollution or sunlight exposure (UV rays).
6. Zinc – Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is good for your immune system and reproductive health
7. Tryptophan – Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan — an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, which promotes feelings of well-being and happiness.
8. Beta-carotene – Pumpkins are also rich in beta-carotene, which helps your body convert vitamin A into retinol, which is crucial for vision health.