It’s that time of year again! Pumpkins at every grocery store, on everyone’s front porch, even in our specialty drinks. But pumpkins aren’t just for carving or for your pumpkin spice latte – you can eat them too, and not just in pie! These wonderful gourds are a bounty of nutritional benefits.
Here are 6 reasons you should buy 2 pumpkins at the checkout stand! (One for your jack-o-lantern and one to eat!)
- High in Vitamin A
Also known as beta-carotene, Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that does a lot for our bodies! It helps keep our eyes healthy because it is a key part of the rhodopsin molecule which activates when light hits the retina, sending a signal to the brain (and giving us vision). It is also an antioxidant that boosts our immune systems, preventing many chronic illnesses. It also fights inflammation, and promotes skin health and cell growth. Just 1 cup of mashed pumpkin provides 12,231 IU, which is 245% of the daily values for a 2000 calorie diet. Wow!
- Great Source of Vitamin C
We all know Vitamin C is something we can always use more of (since it’s water soluble, it leaves our bodies very quickly!). Besides whether or not it really prevents us from getting sick, did you know that Vitamin C also aids your body in the absorption of minerals, helps to protect against heart disease, assists in the repair and regeneration of tissues, and decreases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides?
- Provides Vitamin E
1 cup of mashed pumpkin can provide you with 10% of your daily values of Vitamin E. But what does Vitamin E even do exactly? Vitamin E balances our cholesterol by serving as an antioxidant, fighting cholesterol oxidation. Vitamin E also repairs damaged skin by strengthening the capillary walls and supporting moisture and elasticity.
- Good Source of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin: that vitamin we’ve all seen on the nutrition facts but never knew what it was. Actually, Riboflavin (a.k.a. Vitamin B2) is proven to help prevent headaches. It can also aid in preventing and treating anemia as it helps to transport oxygen to our cells and mobilize iron. It even keeps our hair and skin healthy because it helps maintain collagen levels, which keeps skin looking structured and youthful.
- Rich in Magnesium and Zinc
Pumpkin seeds are the most underrated seed out there, if you ask me. They’re really high in magnesium and zinc! 42% and 44% of our daily values, respectively, to be exact. Magnesium is responsible for maintaining normal nerve and muscle function, supporting a healthy immune system and bone strength, and steadying our heart beats. Zinc actually aids in immune function, blood clotting, and wound healing.
- Good Source of Protein
Pumpkin seeds aren’t just good for minerals, they also, surprisingly, are an excellent source of protein! With just 1 cup being 24% of your daily values of protein, you are increasing your intake of “essential” amino acids, which help prevent and treat a variety of metabolic diseases, including diabetes, infertility, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and neurological dysfunction.
Also, to learn more about what all these vitamins and minerals can do for you, speak to one of our doctors during an appointment or call us at (888) 824-5580!