Healthline.com always has great articles on diet and health. We had to share the impressie health benefits of pumpkin article with you. This is a summarized version but we recommend you read the whole article.
9 Impressive Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family.
It’s native to North America and particularly popular around Thanksgiving and Halloween (1Trusted Source).
In the US, pumpkin typically refers to Cucurbita pepo, an orange type of winter squash. In other regions, such as Australia, pumpkin may refer to any type of winter squash.
While commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. That said, it’s nutritionally more similar to vegetables than fruits.
Beyond its delicious taste, pumpkin is nutritious and linked to many health benefits.
Here are 9 impressive nutrition and health benefits of pumpkin.
1. Highly Nutritious and Particularly Rich in Vitamin A
Pumpkin has an impressive nutrient profile.
One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains (2):
- Calories: 49
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Copper: 11% of the RDI
- Manganese: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
- Iron: 8% of the RDI
- Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and several B vitamins.
Pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. It’s also a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A.
2. High Antioxidant Content May Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Diseases
Pumpkin contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and many others, which may protect your cells against damage by free radicals.
3. Packs Vitamins That May Boost Immunity
Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost your immune system. Its supply of vitamin E, iron and folate may strengthen your immunity as well.
4. Vitamin A, Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Protect Your Eyesight
Pumpkins’ high vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents may protect your eyes against sight loss, which becomes more common with age.
5. Nutrient Density and Low Calorie Count May Promote Weight Loss
Pumpkin is packed with nutrients and yet has under 50 calories per cup (245 grams). This makes it a nutrient-dense food. It’s also a good source of fiber, which may suppress your appetite.
6. Antioxidant Content May Lower Your Risk of Cancer
Pumpkins contain carotenoids, which function as antioxidants. These compounds are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers.
7. Potassium, Vitamin C and Fiber May Benefit Heart Health
Pumpkin is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart health benefits.
8. Contains Compounds That Promote Healthy Skin
Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock. It also contains vitamins C and E, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your skin strong and healthy.
9. Incredibly Versatile and Easy to Add to Your Diet
Pumpkin, once sliced and cut, can be easily roasted, puréed into soup or baked into pies. Its seeds are also edible and highly nutritious.
Who Shouldn't Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is very healthy and generally safe when eaten in moderation. Make sure to avoid pumpkin-based junk foods, as they are often packed with added sugar.
Written by Ryan Raman, MS,