When you think about pumpkin, two things come to mind – pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pie. Both of those things are delicious, but pumpkin itself actually has a ton of health benefits because it is one of the lesser known superfoods. With so many purported superfoods, it can be hard to navigate what actually has health benefits, and what doesn’t. The research supports the fact that pumpkin is a superfood though, and here’s why.
All The Vitamins
Orange vegetables and fruits are known for containing beta-carotene which gives them their vibrant color. This orange pigment is actually converted in our bodies to Vitamin A when we eat pumpkin. Beta-carotene, and subsequent Vitamin A production is necessary for eye health. If you find that you’re having eye problems, it might mean that you need to increase your intake of orange foods. You can do this by adding pumpkin to your diet, in the form of baking it, turning it into soup, and even through pie. Although, you may want to cut down on the amount of sugar your recipe calls for. Another vitamin that pumpkin has in abundance, is Vitamin C.
You know when you’re feeling like you have a cold and your doctor says to drink orange juice because it has a lot of Vitamin C? Well, you can opt to have pumpkin soup instead. It contains a similar amount of Vitamin C, and doesn’t have all of the citric acid that oranges have. It will help your immune system stay strong, and fight off any pesky illnesses.
All The Minerals
While pumpkin is chock full of vitamins, it also contains a lot of minerals and fiber necessary for a healthy gut. It’s very important to eat vegetables and fruit that are high in fiber, like pumpkin. Fiber aids in digestion, and keeps your digestive system running smoothly. It also contains a lot of magnesium, which is something anyone who exercises needs.
Have you ever gotten some muscle aches and pains after a hard workout? If the answer is yes, then you should consider increasing your magnesium intake. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds contain a lot of magnesium. After a hard workout, consider downing a pumpkin shake or munching on some seeds to help repair your muscles.
Another mineral that pumpkin contains is potassium. Most people think of bananas when it comes to increasing potassium intake, but pumpkin is a great option as well. Potassium is a mineral that everyone needs to help maintain their blood pressure, and keep it from getting too high. It also helps muscles to contract, which is increased when you exercise.
Add some pumpkin to your diet for your overall health, just one cup will make your body and your heart happy. Plus, pumpkin flavored anything is delicious!