The fall season is quickly approaching, and with it come the classic favorites: cinnamon apple, vanilla sugar and at the top of the list, pumpkin spice. Whether it’s in a scented candle or a hot latte, pumpkin spice has become a staple of the fall season. But what’s so great about pumpkin after all? Well, one thing is for sure – pumpkin aren’t just for carving or making pies. This seasonal favorite actually offers several health boosting properties you may not even know about.
Eyesight: Pumpkin is very rich in beta-carotene and when consumed is a great source of vitamin A, which promotes optimal vision health and reduces your risk of degenerative eye disorders. Studies show that just one cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains over 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Catch some Zzzz’s: Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to that post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for making serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. So not only will pumpkin seeds help you sleep better, the serotonin will improve your mood as well. What’s not to love??
Antioxidants: As mentioned before, pumpkins are packed full of carotenoids, which help to protect your cells against the damage of free radicals. Similar to carrots, after consuming loads of beta-carotene, your body converts it into Vitamin A, all while boosting your overall immune system function. Because of its antioxidant content, many cosmetic companies are adding pumpkin to their skin care products.
So there you have it! Not only is fall’s signature food delicious, but it also packs some powerful health perks as well.