Posted on: 28 October 2016Share
Pumpkin season is here—from the time that the first leaves fall until shortly after Thanksgiving, all things pumpkin rule the grocery shelves, coffee shops, and restaurants. If you love pumpkin, consider yourself lucky—not only can you find your favorite items just about anywhere but you have the perfect excuse to indulge because pumpkin is also good for your health. Here's why it's totally cool to gorge on this seasonal gourd.
1.) It can help you lose weight.
Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in calories, so that makes it a truly super food for dieters. You can take in 26 calories per 100 grams of the fruit that you consume. It also contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Granted, you can't indulge in some of the more sumptuous pumpkin treats that are available during the season and retain these benefits, but if you stick to baked pumpkin slices, grilled pumpkin skewers, and pumpkin soup, you can obtain all the benefits and flavor without blowing your diet.
2.) It can help your vision.
Pumpkin is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help control free radicals, which are organic molecules in your body and environment that cause tissue damage and aging. Antioxidants basically keep free radicals in your body from harming healthy tissues. Pumpkin happens to be high in important vitamins that function as antioxidants, including vitamins like A, C, and E.
In particular, that 100 gram serving of pumpkin can provide 246% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, which is essential for the health of your eyes. Vitamin A plays several important functions in the human body, but it's particularly helpful for good vision, especially in low light. At least one study suggests that a diet high in vitamin A consumption can slow the rate of vision decline in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive disease that leads to blindness.
Pumpkin isn't the only natural supplement that can help your vision, so talk to your eye health care provider if you're concerned about a specific problem.
3.) It can preserve your sex life.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, plus minerals like iron and zinc. If you're male, that zinc consumption can help you avoid prostate cancer, which is a leading cause of cancer deaths among men. Zinc is thought to create an environment that's toxic to cancer cells in the prostate. There's probably no better excuse than that to indulge on fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds during pumpkin season.
In addition, both genders are thought to benefit from the myosin found in pumpkin seeds. Myosin is an amino acid that's essential for strong muscular contractions, which help with sexual arousal and satisfaction.
While nobody really needs a reason to indulge in pumpkin during the fall season, if anybody suggests that you're going a little overboard with all things pumpkin, just smile and tell them you're doing it for your health!