Pumpkins are a favorite fall vegetable for many people and are used as an ingredient in many different foods, including everything from pastries to pancakes, soup, and even curry. While many of the foods and beverages people associate with pumpkins (such as pumpkin spice lattes, for example) don’t actually include pumpkin as an ingredient, the ones that do can offer several significant health benefits.
Eating pumpkin can be helpful when it comes to boosting your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off disease. This boost comes from the amount of beta carotene contained in pumpkins; beta carotene is partially converted into vitamin A, which is important for strengthening your immunity.
Beta carotene is also helpful when it comes to your eye health, as it improves your retina’s ability to absorb light. Pumpkins also contain several other vitamins and minerals that help protect you against age-related macular degeneration, which causes blurriness and loss in the center of your field of vision. In addition to beta carotene, these vitamins and minerals include vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
Beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E are also antioxidants, which are beneficial for your skin health, with beta carotene particularly providing a boost to your skin’s protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun; these rays are one of the primary causes of skin cancer in many people.
If you’re considering incorporating more pumpkin into your diet to enjoy these health benefits, one thing to keep in mind is the difference between carving pumpkins (typically used for decorating) and pie pumpkins (typically used for cooking). Carving pumpkins are the larger variety with stringier insides and more water weight. Pie pumpkins are smaller and contain sweeter, richer insides, making them more flavorful and appropriate for usage as an ingredient in your fall dishes.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.