When we think of pumpkins we often think of jack-o-lanterns and trick or treating. We often buy them as festive decorations for Halloween or even as the filling to our favorite pie, but there’s so much more to this beloved fruit! Pumpkins are packed with tons of essential vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber that can benefit our health in so many different ways.
Almost every part of the pumpkin is beneficial to our health, from the skin, to the pulp, to the slimy seeds inside. There are so many different ways to incorporate pumpkin into our diet, but first, let’s learn what this hearty vegetable can do for our health. Here are eight important health benefits associated with consuming pumpkins…
1. Healthy Immune System
Pumpkins help keep us strong and healthy. A single serving of pumpkin puree has 8-percent of your daily riboflavin requirements, which help the body fight off bacterial infections. Not only is pumpkin rich in riboflavin, but it has lots of folate too. Folate is a folic acid (a B vitamin), which is critical to our immune systems. Research shows that low levels of folate could be linked to a weaker immune system. So eat up!
Pumpkins are also a solid source of vitamin C, which although it hasn’t been proven definitively, might contribute to warding off colds. One cup of cooked pumpkin has more than 11-milligrams of the 60-milligrams recommended by the IOM for women daily (men should aim for 75-milligrams).