The Halloween Superfood: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Pumpkins
Pumpkins aren’t just a popular Halloween decoration. Pumpkins are a superfood that possesses incredible health benefits. Pumpkins are loaded with disease-fighting vitamins and antioxidants. Do you really want to waste time, energy and money carving a pumpkin? Are you going to toss it in the bin at the end of this festive holiday? Why not make use of all the nutritional properties:
Beta-carotene is the agent behind the pumpkins orange colour. It is a provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. It has been said that the consumption of pumpkin:
- Boosts your immunity
- Protects the eye from degeneration and cataracts
- May prevent coronary heart disease and some cancers
There are other foods that are rich in beta-carotene; these foods include carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
Are you looking for that perfect, radiant skin? Simply head to the kitchen! The fleshy pulp of the pumpkin is jam-packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C encourages collagen production. Collagen is responsible for the maintenance of the skin’s elasticity. Puréeing the pumpkin and adding supplemental ingredients such as raw honey, bentonite clay and cinnamon creates a brightening facial mask.
Wicked Weight Loss
Do you want to feel more satisfied with fewer calories? Pumpkin not only satisfies your appetite by keeping you more full for a longer period of time, it also very low in calories. There are three whopping grams of fibre in a single cup of pumpkin and only 49 calories in one serving. This means eating pumpkin regularly can regulate bowel movements and kick start weight loss.
Magical Mood Booster
Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of protein, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds provide an array of health benefits including:
- Prevention of depression
- Lowers risk of bladder stones
- Prevents enlargement of the prostate gland
Recently, evidence based studies have linked tryptophan to brain functions. Tryptophan is an amino-acid. Amino acids carry out important bodily functions. Majority of our cells, muscles and tissues are made up of amino acids. Melatonin (regulates sleep and alertness) and serotonin, (the happy hormone) are created from tryptophan. Pumpkins are rich in tryptophan making it a great sleep aid and a mood booster.
Beastly Post Workout Recovery
Did you know that a cup of diced pumpkin has more potassium (refuelling nutrient) than a banana? For every one cup of pumpkin, you get 564 milligrams of potassium. In one banana, there are only 422 milligrams. Pumpkins can help you to recover faster and aid in replenishing depleted energy levels in the body.
Whether it is soul satisfying pumpkin soup, a puréed pumpkin facial mask or a mid afternoon snack of pumpkin seeds, you are sure to experience fantastic health benefits by using this superfood. Make sure that pumpkin is in your pantry this Halloween. Pumpkins are in season between October and December in the United Kingdom.
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