As the Halloween season commences, pumpkin picking becomes a popular activity, for the all-important jack-o-lantern carving. It’s the perfect opportunity to unleash our inner Picasso on the pumpkin and produce some ghoulish expressions. Instead of just using for art, we can use the pulp and vegetable itself in a myriad of ways. Before you come at me with tried, tested and beloved pumpkin pie and soups, the humble pumpkin is so much more versatile and beneficial to you than just that.
Pumpkin can be used to make everything from curry to fritters to even lasagnas! You can create pretty much anything using it and this way, reap its plentiful benefits again and again with these delicious recipes.
So, what exactly are the benefits aside from being super scary with a candle and the must-have flavor in every winter Starbucks order? Read below to find out!
Pumpkins Be Packing…that Vitamin A!
Just one cup of this fruit (pumpkins are like tomatoes; they just wants to fit in with the veggies even though they have seeds) has 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of your Vitamin A! This has more ‘A’s than your high school AP class. All this vitamin A provides cancer-fighting properties, aids vision by keeping your eyesight in check, and is great for your overall health and immune system.
The Potassium Filled Post Workout Snack
Pumpkin’s pack a punch with its potassium levels. Any regular gym-goer that’s trying to build strength may be familiar with eating banana’s after a workout, but pumpkins beat bananas with 564 milligrams to a banana's 422 potassium intake. This nutrient keeps your muscles functioning at its optimal level and balances your body’s electrolytes. It also contains zinc and protein, both nutrients which are important for post-recovery.
It Keeps You Regular💩
You know what I’m talking about here…whoever you live with will certainly thank you for indulging in some roast pumpkin, because you’ll definitely be doing your business quicker in the bathroom. The high fiber content in this fruit (that most people don’t get nearly enough of) aids the digestive system, allowing your body to go when you gotta go. The fiber also encourages lower cholesterol and keeps us fuller for longer. This satiety it brings helps aid weight loss (an additional benefit!) because it will keep the snacking at bay.
Younger Looking Skin
2020 has aged us all and it shows… to combat that, eat a pumpkin! The beta-carotene rich food helps protect us from the sun's wrinkle-causing UV rays. This means less IG filters and actual smoother skin when you’re caught off guard for that totally spontaneous selfie. You can go one step further and even use the pulp to create a facemask as it’s an excellent exfoliant.
It helps with Type 2 Diabetes.
The nutritional profile of pumpkin cannot be overstated enough as research has shown that fiber and vitamin content also help reduce blood glucose levels. It allows you to improve glucose tolerance and increase the amount of insulin the body produces naturally. Whilst more research has to be carried out for this to be conclusive, munching on pumpkin could mean preventing your risk of diabetes. Of course, this will only stay true if you don’t pair it with a high glycemic food (so categorically NOT pumpkin pie, but a lovely pumpkin veggie roast would be swell in reaping these benefits).
Keeps You Happy
Happiness is something else we could do a little help with this year that pure-of-heart pumpkin can provide. The fruit has the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor for building serotonin and melatonin in our bodies. This is the same thing found in chocolate that promotes us feeling good, but of course, pumpkin is far healthier than chocolate! The serotonin uplifts our mood, so is brilliant for battling seasonal affective disorder or depression, whilst melatonin helps promote a night of restful sleep. As a good night’s sleep is part of the key to us feeling refreshed and also happier, there is no reason a pumpkin heavy-meal won’t bring a smile to your face.