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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkins

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkins

Pumpkins are more than just a decoration for your front porch. This nutrient-dense fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!) offers a host of health benefits that may surprise you. Here are five reasons to make pumpkin a part of your healthy diet.

1. Pumpkins Are Packed With Nutrients
One cup of pumpkin puree contains over 200% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A. Pumpkin is also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. The combination of these nutrients makes pumpkin a powerful immunity-booster. As an added bonus, the beta-carotene in pumpkin has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer.

2. Pumpkins Can Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Pumpkin is low in calories but high in fiber, which makes it an excellent food for maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber helps you feel full longer and stabilizes blood sugar levels, both of which are important for weight loss and weight management. Adding pumpkin to your diet can help you reach your weight loss goals—and may even help you prevent weight gain in the first place.

3. Pumpkin Can Improve Your Skin Health
The vitamins and antioxidants in pumpkin can do wonders for your skin. Vitamin A helps keep skin cells renewing at a healthy rate, while the antioxidants protect against damage from free radicals. If you’re looking for a natural way to keep your skin looking its best, try making a facial mask out of pureed pumpkin and raw honey. (Just don’t forget to remove it before answering the door for trick-or-treaters!)

4. Pumpkin May Help Lower Your Risk of Diabetes
The fiber in pumpkin can help regulate insulin levels, which may lower your risk of developing diabetes. In one study, participants who ate more fiber had a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate less fiber. If you’re not already including pumpkin in your diet, this is one more reason to give it a try.

5. Pumpkin Can Help Ease Arthritis Symptoms
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that’s been shown to ease arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness. They’re also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. For an easy way to add more pumpkin seeds to your diet, sprinkle them on top of oatmeal or yogurt—or just eat them by the handful as a healthy snack!

As you can see, pumpkins offer some serious health benefits. So next time you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, pick up a few extra pounds—your body will thank you!

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