6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Yes it is Fall which means the nation has gone into it’s pumpkin flavored everything kick. I just saw pumpkin flavored english muffins at the store the other day. And if you have a Trader Joe’s near you then just about everything you can imagine comes in pumpkin flavor. You may laugh at all the pumpkin spice obsessed ladies out there, but those #basic girls may be onto something…

pumpkin_sliced-webWhile pumpkin filled treats are something to limit, pumpkin as in the squash has some pretty powerful health benefits that may surprise you. Pumpkin can even help you sleep better, so we are all for pumpkin!

1. Feel Fuller
Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber. “Fiber helps keep you fuller longer, which keeps your appetite at bay so you eat less overall,” says nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet.

2. Boost Vision
A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.

3. Lower Blood Pressure
Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.

4. Sleep Betterpumpkin_patch_web
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness, says Virgin. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood, says Virgin.

5. Protect Your Package
Pumpkins — especially the seeds — are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties, says Virgin. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health. When young men in a Wayne State University study restricted their dietary zinc intake, they had significantly lower levels of testosterone after 20 weeks.

6. Have a Healthier Heart
All that fiber can also help protect your ticker, research shows. One Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals found that those who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber. A more recent study by Swedish researchers found that women who ate a diet high in fiber had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with women who ate a low fiber diet. Men benefitted less, likely because they’re more likely to get their fiber from breads, while women are more likely to get their fiber from healthier sources, like fruits and vegetables, the researchers write.


Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Souppumpkin_soup_web

Prep Time: 14 minutes      Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4 to 6


1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 large butternut pumpkin, skin and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 tbsp curry powder (mild or medium depending on preference)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cream
salt and pepper
parsley for garnish



  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic cook until golden brown. Aadd cumin and coriander stirring for one minute.
  2. Add pumpkin and stir to coat. Add stock and curry powder. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or until the pump is soft. Set aside to cool.
  3. Stir in cream and transfer to mixing bowl or blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a dollop of natural yogurt and sprinkle with corinander and garnish with parsley to serve.

Article source: http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Mattressdepotusa.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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