9 Reasons to Eat and Love Pumpkin
Native Americans included pumpkin in their traditional diet. They even dried it for use during the winter months when food was scarce. There are many reasons why this underrated superfood makes a great and healthy addition to your diet, too:
1. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates (the “good carbs”) that help provide essential energy to the body.
2. It contains plenty of fiber to keep bowels moving properly. One cup of pumpkin has three grams of fiber.
3. Its high fiber content also aids weight loss. Research shows high dietary aids weight loss in people who are overweight.
4. The brilliant orange color indicates its high beta carotene content. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which is needed for healthy immunity and vision.
5. It helps with skin healing, protecting against sun damage, and even helping scars to fade.
6. Beta carotene found in pumpkins may reduce your cancer risk. Diets high in beta carotene have been linked with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including: breast, prostate, lung, cervical, and skin cancer.
7. Pumpkin can aid electrolyte balance after a workout. It contains more potassium than a banana (564 mg of potassium vs. 422 mg in a banana).
8. It can help ward off colds and flu. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 11 mg of vitamin C. While controversial reports cast doubt on vitamin C’s anti-infectious capabilities, the well-constructed studies demonstrate vitamin C’s immune-boosting properties.
9. Beta carotene found in pumpkins helps boost overall immune health. In a study conducted on people suffering from HIV, researchers found that those taking beta carotene had a significant reduction in infection risk.