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Why Eating Pumpkin This Halloween Is Good For You

Is Pumpkin Spiced Latte deceivingly good for you after all?

Got a pumpkin or two lying around this Halloween? If you’ve previously been throwing away your triangle-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.

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.

 

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.

how to improve your eyesight with diet

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 spiralised pumpkin spaghetti, or instead of mash potato, why not try a pumpkin mash, which can save calories without compromising on flavour.

 

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 skin cells from sun damage 3, which is critical for the prevention of ageing skin.

 

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.

 

REFERENCES

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

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