It looks like a humble vegetable, but it has a range of health benefits and should be one of your diet staples.
Halloween might be over, but you should still stock up on those pumpkins.
Instead of carving a creepy face, slice them up for your dinner because health experts believe you should be eating pumpkin all year round.
Dr Seth Rankin, founder of London Doctors Clinic, talked about how the nutritious vegetable can leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, he said: “Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system and ensuring regular bowel movements.
“The good news is that pumpkins have 0.5g of fibre per 100g, meaning you will feel less tempted to snack between meals.”
Just one cup of pumpkin contains 3g of fibre, but only clocks up 49 calories, so it’s great for dieters who are cutting back on indulgent treats.
“You will feel less tempted to snack between meals”
Dr Seth Rankin
Not only is pumpkin a healthy addition to your plate, it’s also a great post-workout food.
It’s packed with potassium (even more than a banana) which can help your body recover after exercise by restoring its electrolytes.
According to Dr Seth, here are four other health benefits of the orange vegetable.
1. Good for your vision and immune system
Beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body, gives pumpkins their bright orange colouring. 100g of pumpkin provides you with 170% of your vitamin A requirement.
It is essential to keep your eyes healthy and helps the retina absorb light, particularly in dark conditions.
This will be very handy as we enter into those long winter nights.
Pumpkin also has long term benefits for the eyes, as Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants in pumpkins.
These antioxidant help prevent cataracts, and possibly slow macular degeneration.
The big dose of vitamin A provided, as well as the vitamin C, will help your immune system to fight infections.
So as the colder weather approaches make sure you eat enough pumpkin to ward off colds or viruses.
2. Mood boosting
Feeling a bit down? A slice of pumpkin may cheer you up.
They are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is important in creating the mood-boosting chemical serotonin.
Serotonin is also important in the regulation of sleep, so pumpkins may aid a good night’s rest.
3. Heart healthy
Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols which are thought to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body and can benefit you long term if incorporated into a healthy and low-fat diet.
Heart health is crucial to everyone at any age.
4. Look younger
Yes, you have read that right. Pumpkin can make you look younger.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, so as well as helping your eyes, it protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
If you weren’t swayed before, I am sure for the possibility of looking younger may tempt you into throwing pumpkin into your trolley.
Source: Daily Star