Autumn is here, so it’s time for everyone to start experiencing some seasonal pumpkin health benefits! If you haven’t spotted pumpkin-flavored products popping up in stores all over the place yet, just wait – the onslaught is coming.
If you’re craving the taste of this fall-favorite, skip the pumpkin-flavored coffee creamer. Most of those products are filled with sugar and trans fats (among other questionable ingredients). Instead, reach for the real thing, because real pumpkin tastes good – and is good for you!
Here are 5 pumpkin health benefits.
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Remember when you were a kid and you’d scoop out the “guts” of a pumpkin, clean off the seeds, and roast them? Pumpkin seeds contain about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin contains three grams. Fiber makes you feel fuller for longer, thus suppressing cravings and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Also, mashed pumpkin only contains 50 calories.
2. Good For The Eyes
A cup of cubed pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A – twice the recommended daily intake, as a matter of fact. This vitamin promotes good vision, especially in dim light. Vitamin A has also been shown to slow the decline of retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can cause blindness. Further, vitamin A helps to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
People often associate the word “tryptophan” with Thanksgiving turkey, and the way the substance makes you sleepy after the big meal. Pumpkin seeds are rich in this amino acid, which is responsible for helping the body make serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter. Serotonin not only helps you sleep, it also improves your mood.
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