10 Reasons to Eat More Pumpkin (Pumpkin Health Benefits)

Halloween quickly came and went once again, bringing a flood of
children looking for more treats than tricks. If you’re like most, you
may only really invite pumpkins into your home during this time of year.
Whether you’re putting a pumpkin on your doorstep or into a pie crust,
it’s time to see this fruit as more than a once-a-year purchase. 


Why eat more pumpkin?

One thing is for sure — pumpkins aren’t just for carving or pie
making. This seasonal fruit offers health-boosting properties. It is
also a delicious ingredient for soup, muffins or even pancakes. Eating
more pumpkin will benefit you in a number of ways, including the

1. It offers health-boosting antioxidants

Pumpkins are packed with carotenoids, helping to protect your
cells against free radical damage. Like carrots, this orange fruit is
rich in beta-carotene, as well as alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.
After consuming beta-carotene, for instance, your body converts it into
vitamin A, all while boosting overall immune function.

Based on the antioxidant content of pumpkins, many companies
are now utilizing its properties to make skin care products. Yes, that’s
right — pumpkin can be applied topically, helping to increase cell
turnover, resulting in smoother, healthier-looking skin. Of course, due
to various antioxidants, pumpkin can also address signs of aging. 

2. It protects your eyes

As mentioned, pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene
and when consumed, you benefit from a safe source of vitamin A. In
fact, when you consume just one cup of pumpkin, you benefit from nearly
twice your recommended daily intake. This important vitamin helps to
promote optimal vision health, reducing your risk of degenerative eye
conditions, while also promoting healthy teeth and bones.

3. It boosts your fiber intake

Fiber is critical for optimal health, supporting normal bowel
movements, blood sugar and even cholesterol levels. We all know fiber
supports a healthy digestive system, but did you know it can also
support your weight loss journey? When consuming a fiber-rich diet, you
will curb hunger and avoid overeating — try this easy-to-make “power-up” smoothie.

4. It protects your ticker

If one thing is for certain, we need to look after our hearts
— an organ that beats over 100,000 times a day. Aside from beneficial
antioxidants and fiber, which both contribute to positive heart health,
pumpkin seeds are packed with essential fats, phytosterols, magnesium
and zinc.

Within one study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food,
researchers studied the effects of pumpkin seed oil on hypertension.
Researchers induced high arterial blood pressure in rats before treating
them with pumpkin seed oil. Researchers concluded that pumpkin seed oil
treatment not only normalized blood pressure levels but also protected
the heart and aorta.

5. It improves sperm quality

Whether you’re a male or a wife hoping to start your adorable
little family, pumpkin seeds may help improve sperm quality. Infertility
has been linked to low zinc levels, but luckily pumpkin seeds are rich
in this mineral. They may also support healthy testosterone levels and
in turn, this combined effect benefits fertility.

To ensure you’re eating enough pumpkin seeds, make your own
trail mix. This is a great snack to bring to work, helping to fuel both
your body and mind. You can also incorporate pumpkin seeds into your
favorite bread or muffin recipe with ease. If you’d like an even simpler
recipe, try these roasted pumpkin seeds with lemon pepper, garlic and cayenne. Mmm, golden and crispy!

6. It’s great for expecting mommies

When you first find out you’re pregnant, you begin researching
every aspect of your expected pregnancy, including what you should and
should not eat. Pumpkin and its seeds can both be highly beneficial when
expecting, protecting both the mother and fetus.

Rich in protein, zinc, vitamin A, folate and other key
vitamins, pumpkin meat and seeds can support both you and your growing
baby’s needs. Being high in fiber, pumpkin will also help reduce one of
the more common symptoms of pregnancy: dreaded constipation.

7. It reduces inflammation

Offering anti-inflammatory benefits, pumpkin can help improve symptoms of arthritis. As reported in one animal study published in Pharmacological Research, researchers found pumpkin seed oil to be equally effective when compared to the pharmaceutical drug indomethacin,
without the associated side effects. Whether you have a toothache or an
inflamed throat, adding pumpkin to your regular diet can help reduce
painful symptoms.

8. It boosts your magnesium consumption

It is estimated that up to 80 percent of Americans are not
getting enough magnesium, a mineral that is used by every organ in your
body. Although magnesium plays an essential role in bone and heart
health, it is also found in more than 300 different enzymes. From
producing energy to activating nerves and muscles, magnesium is

When consuming just one ounce of pumpkin seeds, you benefit
from nearly 40 percent of your daily recommended intake, just like that.
Considering a deficiency can lead to anything from anxiety disorders to
osteoporosis, pumpkin seeds are an easy and effective way to ensure
you’re getting enough. Cooked spinach and dark chocolate are also great sources of magnesium.

9. It protects your prostate

Using pumpkin seeds to treat an enlarged prostate and urinary
tract complaints is an old remedy — one that is making a comeback.
Considering over half of American men over the age of 50 suffer from
issues related to an enlarged prostate, it’s important to protect
yourself when you’re young.

Based on their high concentration of phytosterols, it’s
believed that these compounds can shrink the prostate. Pumpkin seeds
also offer chemicals which prevent the transformation of testosterone
into DHT, a hormone that is often associated with an enlarged prostate,
as well as male pattern baldness.

10. It offers a source of healthy fats

Fats are not the enemy. I repeat, fats are not the enemy.
We’re living in a society where low- and zero-fat foods have taken over
the supermarket shelves, leading to increased health issues. Your body
and brain need fat in order to function. And when consuming pumpkin
seeds, you benefit from the good kind — plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.


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