As hard to believe as it is… the stores are now overflowing with festive fall decor.
It’s barely September, but fall is in the air.
With fall comes an increased interest in a perennial fall gourd. The Pumpkin.
Pumpkin is much more than a festive decoration for Jack O Lanterns and the like, it’s actually a wonderful food with a myriad of health benefits.
So without further ado.
4 Surprising Benefits of Pumpkin
1 – Can help improve heart health: If you want a healthy ticker, then pumpkin can certainly help.
The reason why is pumpkin is high in fiber, potassium as well as vitamin C, all of which are known for their heart-protecting benefits.
There are a number of studies that show how a diet low in potassium may eventually lead to compromised heart function.
By increasing potassium, you can keep the heart functioning at full-tilt.
2 – May prevent cancer: Pumpkin in your diet could be a secret weapon in the fight against cancer.
Why? Because it’s rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the flavonoid that gives pumpkin it’s rich, orange color (the same flavonoid found in carrots). And while it’s certainly helpful for eyesight, beta-carotene is also a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant.
Beta-carotene has been observed to help lower the risk of one of the most common forms of cancer, prostate cancer.
Here’s the synopsis of a study on beta-carotene and how it helps prevent cancer.
“We found a statistically significant inverse association between higher plasma lycopene [a type of beta-carotene] concentrations and lower risk of prostate cancer, which was restricted to older participants and those without a family history of prostate cancer.”
3 – Can protect eyesight: Since you just learned that pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, it’s important you realize beta-carotene really can help improve eyesight.
“A cross-sectional study of older African-American women showed that eating 3 or more fruit servings per day was associated with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration. It also led to a slower progression of the disease.”
4 – Helps fight Type II Diabetes: Type II diabetes is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in America.
Type II diabetes is an issue that results from mismanagement of blood sugar via diet. Including pumpkin in your diet may help to level out blood sugar which can help keep Type 2 diabetes at bay.
It’s believed that there are compounds in both the seeds and the pulp of pumpkin that help to increase the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines. This can leads to balancing out glucose levels in the liver which helps to improve blood sugar.