6 Pumpkin Nutrition Facts You Didn’t Know
Fall’s signature squash is more than a decoration for doorsteps or a carveable craft project – it also offers an impressive list of health benefits. The vitamin- and nutrient-rich flesh and seeds of pumpkin can help you see better, improve heart health and even lose weight! Eat up as you read about the perks of this fall superfood.
- Pumpkin is good for your eyesight. One cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A protects the cornea, the surface of the eye, and allows you to see in low-light conditions.
- Pumpkin seeds are good for the heart. Like many seeds, pumpkin seeds pack a big nutritional punch. They contain plant compounds which have been shown in studies to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. They also are a good source of a variety of nutrients ranging from manganese and magnesium to zinc, copper and protein.
- Pumpkin seeds help boost the immune system. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, a mineral that is essential to immune function to fight infection more effectively. It also increases killer cells that combat cancer and supports wound healing.
- Pumpkin seeds make you feel fuller for longer. Shelled pumpkin seeds contain 7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while one cup of canned pumpkin delivers about 7 grams. This fiber helps keep you fuller for longer, which can reduce hunger and lower calorie intake.
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds help reduce cancer risk. A large study found that eating pumpkin seeds was associated with a significantly reduced breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Other studies have included pumpkin as part of a diet that reduces the risk of lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers.
- Pumpkin seeds might give your mood a boost. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of L-tryptophan, an amino acid which may improve mood and may even be effective against depression.
Find a variety of healthy pumpkin recipes at Eating Well!
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