Around Halloween, pumpkins are the most popular fresh produce. They are cheap and tasty, and can make your meals more nutritious. Mashed pumpkin puree can be added in soups, stews, pies and cookies and smoothies and homemade juices. It’s an excellent produce if you plan on losing weight, or just wanted to live a healthier, fuller life. The pumpkin benefits are bountiful, and they will help you regulate or maintain several bodily functions and processes:
Pumpkin Benefits And Nutrition
Learn a couple of recipes using pumpkin so you can start experiencing some of these pumpkin benefits. Pumpkins can be stored for up to 2 months in a dark, cool place, and you can keep the puree in the freezer for 3 months before using it in a recipe. You can bake them and eat them as dessert, or add them to your pies, cookies and soups.
Pumpkins are full of fiber, whether you choose the seeds or the puree. Fiber rich foods are essential when you’re trying to lose some weight. Dietary fiber helps you feel full faster and for longer periods of time. It also soothes digestion and make bowel movements easier and more regular. At the same time, this plant is very low on calories. One cup of boiled pumpkin puree will add only 2% of the daily dose of calories.
The orange color of pumpkins comes from their rich beta carotene content. Beta carotene is transformed into vitamin A by our body, also known as retinol. Retinol helps the retina in the eye produce pigments, which in turn promotes better vision, particularly in low light settings.
Vitamin A is very important for the development and growth of several body systems. It helps the skin, bones and hair stay strong and healthy, by rejuvenating cells and membranes. In one cup of boiled pumpkin, there’s over 200% of the daily value of vitamin A. The only food that’s as rich in vitamin A as pumpkins is animal liver.
Learn our easy Liver Pate Recipe!
Other valuable nutrient that adds to the pumpkin benefits list is the high amount of potassium. Together with the vitamin C and fiber found in squash, potassium will keep your heart muscles run longer and stronger. High amounts of potassium are recommended for people with hypertension or high blood pressure.
Squash is also rich in amino acids. Amino acids help the metabolic processes in the body and will help the liver and small intestines process and absorb glucose better.
The benefits of pumpkins are amazing, but you need to be careful with the consumption of vitamin A. overconsumption of vitamin A is a medical condition known as hypervitaminosis A. A prolonged intake of high vitamin A foods can result in hair loss, bone loss, confusion and liver damage. So during the fall months when pumpkins come in all stores, shapes and sizes, make sure you don’t overdose. If you enjoy using pumpkins in home cooked meals, avoid eating lots of carrots, liver (especially beef liver), kale and sweet potatoes, as they also contain abundant doses of this vitamin.