Top 10 Healthy Healing Benefits of Eating Pumpkins and Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds in bowl

Photo credit: bigstock

October and November are pumpkin season and the harvest has begun in earnest. These big, bright veggies always bring a smile to the faces of everyone who sees them as we think about jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin seeds, and, of course, pumpkin pies! Pumpkins have so much to offer us, from delicious foods to incredible healing power. So get your food processor, blender, oven, or dehydrator ready because it’s time for the great pumpkin to make an appearance at your house!

Take a look at the top 10 healthy, healing powers that those crazy looking jack-o-lanterns can give us when consumed.

 

1. A treasure chest of nutrition

There are so many vitamins and minerals in pumpkin and their seeds that it’s hard to list them all here! Pumpkins contain important antioxidant vitamins like E, C, and A. They are also a good source of important B vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, folate, riboflavin, B6, and pantothenic acid. One cup of raw pumpkin has about 3 grams of fiber and is a great source of beta-carotene.

The seeds from pumpkins are also full of nutrition such as potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, B vitamins and super beneficial amounts of selenium.

Whew! That’s a whole lot of nutrition in one pretty orange veggie!

 

2. Helps maintain prostate health

The high zinc content in pumpkin seeds helps to maintain a healthy prostate. Also find out how vitamin D defficiency linked to agressive prostate cancer.

 

3. Helps with weight loss

Pumpkin is an often overlooked when it comes to healthy fiber but think about it; one cup has only 49 calories but three grams of fiber! This means eating pumpkin can keep you feeling full for very few calories. Those who eat a fiber rich diet lose weight. In one study done in 2009, participants who ate one apple before  lunch ate few calories the rest of the day compared to those who ate applesauce or drank apple juice, this according to WebMD. The fiber in apples is in the skin, which might explain why the fresh fruit had greater results than juice or processed apples.

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Pumpkin seeds

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4. Supports vison health

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, which is important for your vision.  In fact, pumpkin has so much vitamin A that eating just one cup of mashed pumpkin will give you more than 200 percent of your daily recommended daily intake. Vitamin A helps you to see better in low light conditions. This veggie is also rich in carotenoids, which your body will turn into vitamin A also, giving you double protection for your eyes.

 

5. Improves your immune system

Pumpkins are a great source of vitamin C, which is important for wound repair and improving your immune system. One cup of cooked pumpkin has 20 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C.

 

SEE ALSO: The Top 10 Reasons to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

6.  Puts you in a good mood

As if carving a scary jack-o-lantern face with your kids doesn’t make you feel good enough, pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the famous amino acid in turkey that relaxes you and makes you want to take a snooze. Tryptophan causes your body to make serotonin, which is an important hormone that puts you in a good mood. Just a handful of roasted seeds are all it takes to make you do that happy dance.

 

7.  Perhaps the perfect post workout food

You might have heard that bananas are Mother Nature’s natural energy bars but the truth is pumpkins kick bananas to the curb if we are talking about potassium. One cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium, a medium banana about 422.

Potassium helps to restore your body’s electrolyte balance after a workout and keeps your muscles working at their optimum level.

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pumpkin

Photo credit: bigstock

8. Reduce the risk of cancer

Similar to their cousin the sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash, pumpkins have lots of beta-carotene, which is vital when it comes fighting cancer, so says the National Cancer Institute. Food sources of beta-carotene seem to work better than supplements. So eat more pumpkin and don’t forget the seeds, which studies have shown also fights certain types of cancer.

 

9.  Super skin protection

The carotenoids in pumpkin kill off those damaging free radicals, which stop cancer cells from forming as well as keeping your skin soft, supple, and wrinkle free.

 

10. Heart healthy

Pumpkin seeds, like many other seeds, are rich in phytosterols that, in multiple studies, show that they reduce the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol, which is good news for your cardiovascular system.

Although many people make pies and custards out of pumpkin, you can avoid all that sugar by simply adding some fresh pumpkin to your smoothies, or gently roast or steam the meat of the pumpkin, in the same way you would cook any other squash. Roast the seeds gently and add a bit of sea salt for a super afternoon snack.

Sources:

Healingthebody.ca

Organiclifestylemagazine.com

Nutrition-and-you.com

Greatist.com/health

Huffingtonpost.com



2 Comments

  1. Dan

    Dec 20, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Since in many of your other articles you discuss the dangers of GMO foods I just thought I would let you know that Monsanto sells pumpkin seeds.
    http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/vegetable-seed-brands.aspx

  2. dannyboy6

    Dec 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    It stops me from urinating all night, Prostrate Health…