Pumpkin seeds, leaves and juice are also full of nutrients.
Pumpkin offers amazing benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. Your body converts ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Studies show that pumpkins can do the following:
Pumpkins are full of beneficial antioxidants. The vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene in pumpkins can support eye health and prevent degenerative damage in older adults.
In 2019, the National Eye Institute conducted a clinical trial called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The results of the study suggested that high doses of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene are associated with a significantly reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Pumpkins contain dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C that all support heart health.
Results of a 2017 study involving 2,722 volunteers revealed that consuming enough potassium could be as important as decreasing sodium in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Reducing sodium intake involves preparing meals that contain little or no salt.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, consuming more potassium may also reduce the risk of other types of CVD. (Related: Grapefruit found to help reduce high blood pressure.)
If you have diabetes, incorporating pumpkins into your diet may help control your condition and blood sugar levels.
The results of a 2019 study suggest that a combination of two plant extracts, one of which was pumpkin polysaccharides, helped bring down the blood sugar levels in mice.
While the study did not involve humans, the findings suggest that pumpkin compounds may have some potential to protect against Type 2 diabetes.
The results of a 2016 study suggest that there is a connection between a diet rich in beta-carotene and tumor suppression in prostate cancer.
The results of a 2014 cross-sectional study also showed that beta-carotene slowed the development of colon cancer in a Japanese population.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA's) Food Data Central database, one cup (245 grams (g)) of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin prepared without salt contains:
Pumpkin also contains the following essential vitamins and minerals:
Pumpkins are also full of dietary fiber. The recommended intake of fiber is between 25 g and 38 g per day for adults.
Fiber helps slow the rate of sugar absorption into the blood, promotes regular bowel movements and smooths digestion. Getting enough fiber in your diet can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
There are many ways to add more pumpkins to your diet.
Preparing fresh pumpkin at home will offer the most health benefits, but canned pumpkin is also a great choice because the vegetable retains many of its health benefits in the canning process.
Try to avoid canned pumpkin pie mix for regular consumption because this product contains added sugars and syrups. When buying canned pumpkin, look for products that only have one ingredient, pumpkin.
If you're buying sweet or pie pumpkin varieties, choose a pumpkin that has a few inches of stem remaining. Get a pumpkin that is hard and heavy for its size.
You can store uncut pumpkins in a cool, dark place for up to two months.
Follow a balanced diet and add more pumpkins to your diet to boost your eye health.
Watch this clip to learn how to make a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home.
This video is from the Health Ranger Store channel on Brighteon.com.