Pumpkins are huge fruits that are thought to have originated in North America. They are exceptionally healthy, so it's quite unfortunate to think that they are often overlooked as a source of fiber. They are also full of important disease-fighting vitamins and a whole host of other essentials.
That's why it's time to read up about the fantastic benefits of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, and allow yourself to be inspired with some ideas to include this luscious treat in your dishes
1. Boosts vision Pumpkin contains high amounts of vitamin A, which is directly linked to our optical health. The plentiful nutrients found in pumpkin pulp sharpen your vision, particularly in dim light. Regular consumption of pumpkin is also said to slow down visual decline brought about by conditions like macular disease and retinitis pigmentosa (which can lead to blindness), and helps prevents eye cataracts.
Have cup of mashed pumpkin each day in order to ensure a steady dose of vitamin A.
2. Makes your skin look younger The vitamin A that pumpkin contains is also proven to boost our skin's health. Consume pumpkin to keep your skin looking younger, as this vitamin protects you from developing wrinkles caused by the sun's UV rays. Apart from consuming it, pumpkin can also be used to make an all-natural facial mask to exfoliate and soothe the skin.
Here's how to make the mask: Combine 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix and apply the mixture to your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes before you wash it off with warm water.
3. Aids weight loss Because pumpkin is packed with a great deal of fiber, it can keep you satiated for longer periods of time than other foods. Fiber is a substance that slows down digestion, and considering that 90% of pumpkins consists of water, it's one of the most recommended foods to consider during diets. In one cup of pumpkin, there's 7 grams of fiber, and that is more than what you get from two slices of bread, but it contains less than 50 calories!
4. Boosts energy levels We've been told that bananas are an excellent source of energy, but did you know that pumpkins are even better? While a banana contains 422 milligrams of the refueling nutrient potassium, a single cup of mashed pumpkin contains a whopping 564 milligrams, making it one of nature's very best energy-packed goods.
Drink a cup of mashed pumpkin after a workout to restore the body's balance of electrolytes (the minerals you lose when you sweat) and help your muscles recover.
5. Promotes heart health Eating foods that are high in fiber, like pumpkin, is incredibly beneficial for your heart. Recent studies have found that male individuals with a high-fiber diet had 40% less chance of getting coronary heart disease than individuals with a lesser intake of fiber, whereas for female individuals, this was 25%. Apart from this, the chemical phytosterol found in pumpkin seeds has been proven to work against the "bad" cholesterol, LDL, which has a positive effect upon the health of your heart.
6. Enhances immunity to disease It may sound hard to believe, but pumpkin is extremely effective when it comes to our body's immune system. If you're looking to improve your body's ability to combat illness, increase your intake of pumpkin and/or pumpkin seed oil. This will help it to fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases, due to its high vitamin C content. In fact just a single cup of pumpkin contains more than 11 milligrams of this healthy vitamin, which is almost equivalent to the 60% of women's recommended daily dose (this would be around 75 milligrams for men), and this can help the body recover from a common cold or a more serious parasitic-related illness.
7. Fights diabetes While discussing the beneficial properties of pumpkins, we cannot help but mention one terrific discovery research has recently revealed. This amazing food has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels when consumed, encouraging glucose tolerance and an increase in the body's insulin levels.
8. Improves your mood Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is more well-known for its presence in turkey dishes. Apart from being one of the most vital amino acids required by our bodies, tryptophan is responsible for the production of serotonin in our bodies, a substance that plays a major role in our mood control. It is also found in some other seeds, as well as poultry, red meat, fish, and more.
9. Gives you a better night's sleep Your search for sleeping solutions may end here. Apart from being a feel-good neurotransmitter, the tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds may even improve your resting time. This substance allows the body to relax and unwind, making it the perfect means to lull you in to a deep, untroubled sleep.
10. Treats low blood pressure Furthermore, eating pumpkin seeds may also exhibit positive improvements in individuals that suffer from low blood pressure. This is mainly due to the phytoestrogens found in pumpkin seeds, which are said to help prevent hypertension.
11. Lowers the risk of cancer So far, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds have shown several perks brought by its regular consumption, which has been proven to be super essential to us. However, perhaps most surprisingly of all, scientists have found that the Beta-carotene pigment found in pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds in particular, is not only beneficial for your skin and vision, it's also a cancer-fighting agent. In particular, men's health has been linked to the benefits of pumpkin seeds, due to their richness in zinc, which can effectively prevent men from developing prostate cancer. Consequently, this can lead to improvements in their sexual health. The zinc levels contained in a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds results in 17% of the recommended daily intake of zinc for adults.