October 26 is National Pumpkin Day, and it couldn’t come at a better time! You can’t be a citizen of the world without hearing about Pumpkin Spice anything this time of year. And during the fall holiday season every food blog and magazine is sure to have a number of tempting recipes, all starring: you guessed it- pumpkin! So you’ll love to know that not only is it easy to find pumpkin now, not only do all those recipes sound delicious, but pumpkin is really, really good for you. Yup, sometimes a food that you love actually has all kinds of amazing health benefits! Here’s what’s so great about pumpkin:
Eye health: Beta-carotene is what gives pumpkin its rich orange color. It converts to vitamin A in your body, which plays a role in healthy vision and may prevent cataracts.
Immune health: That’s the vitamin A and vitamin C working for you! Beta-carotene is also a strong antioxidant, which helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
Anti-aging: Vitamin A contains skin renewal properties.
Heart health: The fiber in pumpkin helps control cholesterol. Eat the seeds and they’ll help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol, plus, they make a delicious guilt-free snack! Pumpkin is also a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.
Digestive health: That fiber again.
Muscle function: Credit goes to the potassium, which can help prevent painful muscle cramps.
Weight control: The fiber helps keep you feeling full for longer- and with fewer calories!
Mood: Pumpkin seeds have tryptophan- an essential amino acid that produces serotonin- the happy hormone. So eating pumpkin seeds can also put you into a good mood!
You can enjoy pumpkin in so many ways. Try pumpkin soups, roasted pumpkin, salads with pumpkin, pumpkin breads, pumpkin muffins, and of course, pumpkin desserts! So celebrate National Pumpkin Day like a true patriot, and get your fill of pumpkin treats while pumpkin season is still in full swing. And feel good about doing something good for your health!