All Praise Pumpkin: The Benefits of the Fall Staple
The season of fall is descending upon us, and with it come the spoils of autumn. Temperatures will begin to cool off, decreasing enough to near-perfect weather for an afternoon picnic or an early evening stroll. The leaves on the trees start to change colors, and crunch below your feet as you wait to cross the street. With fall weather comes fall flavors, most notably the favorited pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin spice lattes, and even pumpkin bread are just a few of the incredible spoils that come from the plant that’s both a fruit and a vegetable depending on who you ask. And yet, pumpkin is more than just a fall staple flavor; it has many different health and nutritional benefits unbeknownst to many. In honor of the seasons changing we’re going to go in-depth on this delicious and distinct autumn treat.
Nearly everyone knows what a pumpkin looks like, but did you know it’s actually a not-so-distant relative of the squash? I know, incredible! Over time pumpkins have been established as more than just a food, but also a source of entertainment and decor in the cooler months of the year. Carving Jack-O-Lanterns out of pumpkins is one of the favorited Halloween celebrations, and pumpkins are often used as decor and theming during this time of year. While all these lovely pumpkin nuances are fun to see, pumpkins actually have some serious health and nutritional benefits to the. So, now your favorite flavor can feel like less of a sweet autumn treat!
Contrary to what you may think, the pumpkins we carve and the pumpkin we eat aren’t generally the same. The pumpkin we often eat comes from a different winter squash than the pumpkin used for our spooky holiday fun. One of the biggest benefits pumpkin offers when it comes to nutrition is that the fruit contains an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. In fact, pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the powerful antioxidant. The body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is important for growth and development. It is also the reason that pumpkins appear so orange in color.
If you eat foods rich in this particular antioxidant it may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, delay aging and degeneration of the body, and even offer protection from heart disease and asthma. Another incredible nutritional benefit that pumpkin offers is its abundance of fiber. Pumpkins are notoriously fiber-rich, and aid with digestion. Fiber also slows digestion, allowing you to feel fuller longer. You will find seven grams of fiber in just one cup of pumpkin, which is more than two slice of bread!
Not only is pumpkin filling and delicious, it’s rather low in calories as well. Most canned pumpkin is predominantly water, so it keeps you hydrated and full without consuming more calories than you want to. You can even utilize pumpkin in ways other than incorporating it into your diet. The pulp from pumpkins actually makes a great exfoliating face mask that can help your skin look vibrant and fresh. If you don’t feel like putting it on your skin, eating pumpkin can aid your skin as well. The abundance of vitamin A found in pumpkin can help delay aging, and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A is also essential to eye health. That’s right, eating and enjoying pumpkin has the potential to aid in keeping your eyesight in tip-top shape.
For those of you who may not be a fan of pumpkin itself but enjoy the seeds, I’ve got some good news for you. Even the seeds of the pumpkin can be helpful to the body, as they contain a high amount of Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino-acid that works as the building block to serotonin, which is in charge of our moods. In short, pumpkin seeds can help increase your mood. A final really incredible nutrient of pumpkin in vitamin C, which can help boost immunity. If you find yourself often fighting a cold or under the weather, add some pumpkin into your diet! If you’re unsure about the addition of pumpkin to your routine of nutrients, SSLA Lifestyle’s Restore Anti-Aging Supplements have you covered! Packed with essential vitamins and nutrients to restore overall health inside and out, Restore is the perfect supplement to add to your defense against time. With important ingredients like turmeric and biotin, SSLA’s Restore supplements work hard to keep your skin healthy.
Despite its association with the biggest meals of the holiday season (ahem, can we say pumpkin pie?), pumpkin is actually a great source of nutrients for the body. Vitamin A and C help boost immunity and promote eye and heart health, while the fiber richness of the pumpkin aid in digestion and help you feel fuller longer. Finding ways to incorporate this delicious and nutritious food into your diet may seem like a challenge, but absolutely worth it in the end. Enjoy your pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin bread, but remember when fall is over your pumpkin obsession doesn’t have to!