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Fall is finally here! It’s time to enjoy one of our autumn favorites: pumpkin! This versatile gourd is perfect for baking into healthy sweets, adding into smoothies and many more. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also has some pretty impressive health benefits. Need another reason to enjoy this festive favorite? Have five!
Nutritionists suggest adding pumpkin to your diet if you want to lose weight. A single serving of pumpkin contains about 26 calories and no saturated fats or cholesterol. Pumpkin is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Research found that adding pumpkin to your diet can help you better control cholesterol levels and lose weight effectively.
A single serving of pumpkin has nearly 250 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful natural antioxidant. The body needs vitamin A to help maintain the integrity of skin and mucosa. Vitamin A is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Ongoing research shows that vitamin A may also help protect the body against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Studies have shown that adding pumpkin to your diet can help improve the symptoms of arthritis. In a recent study, researchers found that pumpkin seed oil is nearly as effective when compared to a pharmaceutical drug in reducing symptoms of arthritis, without the associated side effects.
A single serving of pumpkin seeds contains nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral in supporting human health. Magnesium helps create energy in the body and synthesizes RNA and DNA. Magnesium also maintains the integrity of the bones and nervous system, promotes heart health and improves bowel functions.
Pumpkin seeds contain a high amount of dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids. Both of these are good for heart health. Pumpkin seeds contain protein, minerals, and vitamins. A single serving contains nearly 8 grams of protein and has almost 30 percent of the daily recommended allowance of iron. They also contain selenium, zinc, and niacin. Pumpkin seeds have no cholesterol but are an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan.
Nothing puts you in a festive fall mood as pumpkin does! Now that we know it’s packed with essential nutrients that deliver tons of health benefits, we have all the more reason to make it a part of our healthy diets.
You can find this and other health articles by Dr. Partha Nandi, M.D., F.A.C.P., on his website, Ask Dr. Nandi.