Don’t throw your pumpkin away after the 31st - eat it instead!
With Halloween just around the corner, pumpkins are everywhere, and while their decorative use at this time of year is hugely popular, their health and nutritional qualities are less well-known. Here are the top five health benefits of pumpkins according to Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at health and fitness app Lifesum (lifesum.com).
1. Boosts energy
Along with many other nutrients, cooked pumpkin contains high levels of potassium – even higher than those found in bananas – making it a powerful source of energy. This also means that pumpkin is a great post-workout food as the potassium helps to restore the balance of electrolytes in the body, which is essential for our cells, tissues and organs to function at their optimum level.
2. Prevents high blood pressure
Move over coconut oil, there’s a new guy in town. Pumpkin seed oil is known to be very nutritious and contains high levels of the plant-based compound phytoestrogen which is proven to be effective in preventing high blood pressure. It’s also a good source of essential fats which play a vital role in hormone production and joint lubrication.
3. Improves mood
Beyond the nutritional benefits, eating pumpkin seeds may even help to make you feel happier as they are packed with tryptophan, the amino acid responsible for the production of the mood enhancing chemical serotonin. The perfect snack for gloomy autumn evenings!
4. Maintains a healthy heart
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fibre which is beneficial for the functioning of our bowels. It’s also good for the heart, as those with high fibre diets are shown to be significantly less at risk of developing coronary heart disease. In addition, the seeds are rich in phytosterols which are proven to reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol.
5. Strengthens the immune system
High quantities of key nutrients such as folic acid, manganese, vitamin C and zinc, all known for helping to strengthen the body’s natural immune system, are found in pumpkins. The fruit is also a good source of riboflavin, the vitamin known as B2 which helps the body to fight off bacterial functions, so it’s great for warding off illness.
Feeling inspired? Try Frida’s spicy pumpkin soup recipe here.
6 issues for £19.99*
when you subscribe today
Exclusive prizes from our Heaven Skincare, Senspa, Green People and more...