Hello Pumpkin! The Health Benefits of Pumpkin
When you see me in the fields
My orange glowing in the sun
It’s time to say goodbye to summer
And hello to autumn fun!
Fall is here! With fall comes all things pumpkin. Did you know pumpkins are not just for carving creepy jack- o’- lanterns and decorating porches? They are tasty and very good for your health as well. Here is a list we compiled of five of the amazing health benefits of pumpkin!
1. Helps with Healthy Eyes!
What gives pumpkins that orange color? Beta-Carotene! Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for eye health and skin health, and plays many critical roles in the body. The best sources of Vitamin A are from liver and cod liver oil, kidney, and egg yolks from pastured chickens. However, pumpkin is a great way to get some extra Vitamin A in the diet, in addition they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are thought to help with cataracts and slow down macular degeneration.
2. Helps You Refuel After A Workout!
Pumpkins are a great source of potassium (more than in a banana), and makes for a great way to get electrolytes after a workout. One cup has 564 milligrams of potassium, vs 422 milligrams found in a banana. Pumpkins are also a source of carbohydrates. One cup of pumpkin contains (8) grams of carbohydrates to help get some fuel to those post-workout muscles!
3. Naturally Immune Boosting!
The seeds are high in the mineral zinc.
According to CHRIS KRESSER,
“Zinc is an essential mineral that is an imperative part of many physiological functions, including structure in certain proteins and enzymes, and regulation of gene expression. It plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. In skin, zinc assists in the proper structure of proteins and cell membranes, improves wound healing, has anti-inflammatory effects, and protects against UV radiation.”
*Dietary sources of zinc are best absorbed from animal sources, where it is not bound to phytates as in plant sources. The best way to get bioavailable zinc from pumpkin seeds is to soak the seeds to remove phytates before roasting.
4. Helps with Amazing Skin!
The carotenoids (antioxidants) found in pumpkin pulp have been said to fight wrinkles and keep damaging free radicals at bay. In addition the pulp is high in Vitamin C and E as well. These carotenoids are found only in the pulp of the pumpkin, not the seeds. Rather than throwing the pulp away, use it as a facial mask to help moisturize the skin for a youthful glow!
5. May Help Regulate Blood Glucose!
Are you struggling with regulating your blood sugar? Have you been diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic? According to THIS RESEARCH, preliminary investigations have proven that a pumpkin-rich diet has pharmacological activity in reducing blood glucose! The protein-bound polysaccharides from pumpkin can improve the tolerance of glucose, and reduce blood glucose levels. The researchers found that extract can also regenerate damaged pancreatic cells. Including pumpkin in your paleo diet, is a great way to continue on your road to balancing your blood sugar and getting off that blood sugar rollercoaster.