Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is more than just a Halloween decoration. It is actually an incredibly nutrient dense food meaning that it is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.

But most of us miss out on the health benefits of pumpkin because we only eat it once or twice a year in the form of pumpkin pie, which is not the healthiest. Here are some reasons why you should add pumpkin into your regular diet.

Full of vitamins and minerals

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A (as beta-carotene)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Niacin
  • Folate

One cup of cooked pumpkin contains your more than your daily dose of vitamin A and a significant amount of Vitamin C and E. All these vitamins are important antioxidants that protect your cells and your DNA from damage.

May improve your cardiovascular health

The potassium found in pumpkin is important in maintain healthy blood pressure and may help lower your blood pressure if it is already high. Diets rich in potassium are also associated with reduced risk of stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. Other high potassium foods include avocado, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and spinach.

May protect against cancer

Diets high in beta-carotene reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. However, it is important to note that these cancer protective effects are seen from dietary beta-carotene and not from a beta-carotene supplement. Some studies found an increased risk of cancer from high doses of supplemental beta-carotene.

May protect your eyes

The antioxidants found in pumpkin can potentially reduce your risk of developing age-related maculation degeneration by up to 25%. These antioxidants can also reduce vision loss caused by macular degeneration by up to 19%.

May improve your immune function

Vitamin C and beta-carotene are vitamins that boost immune function. Eating plants high in vitamin C and beta-carotene can help to boost your immune system and protect you from colds and the flu.

Add more pumpkin to your diet

Here are some ways to add cooked and pureed pumpkin to your diet. Just be sure that you buy organic pumpkin puree in non-BPA lined cans and NOT pumpkin pie mix, which has added sugar.

  • Add it to your morning smoothie
  • Use it in baked good in place of butter or oil
  • Make pumpkin soup
  • Add it to your pasta sauce
  • Make this delicious & healthy pumpkin pie

References

Dr. Carly Polland, Naturopathic Doctor, BioAdaptive Medicine

Hi!

I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient. 

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