All in all, pumpkin is a nutrient-dense superfood that comes with many health benefits. The only real cause for concern is how much vitamin A they contain, making it very easy to take in too much.
Although much of the health benefits found in pumpkin are from its seeds, the fruit itself does provide quite a few benefits. For one, it is a good source of many minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Many vitamins, such as the B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E are also found in pumpkin. The most abundant, though, is vitamin A, which along with zeaxanthin (an antioxidant carotene also found in abundance in pumpkin) helps promote healthy eyes and prevent diseases such as macular degeneration Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
With just 26 calories per 2/3 cup (100 grams) and neither saturated fat nor cholesterol, pumpkin is a good choice for those trying to get their daily nutrients and maintain or lose weight. Pumpkin, which provides three grams of fiber per cup, also contribute to a healthy colon and properly functioning digestive system. Furthermore, adequate amounts of fiber help rid the body of excess LDL cholesterol, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
If you eat pumpkin with the seeds, then you will gain the additional benefits of zinc, phytoestrogen, and tryptophan, just to name a few. These improve sexual health in men, prevent hypertension, and help the body create serotonin, respectively. One thing to be careful of is not to eat too much pumpkin - though rare, vitamin A toxicity is possible. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include, but are not limited to, blurry vision, swelling of the bones, bone pain, poor appetite, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to sunlight, dry skin, itchy skin, and confusion.
Possible short-term side effects
- vitamin a toxicity
- great source of antioxidants
- helps prevent cardiovascular disease
- helps prevent colon cancer
- helps maintain a healthy digestive system
- helps reduce "bad" cholesterol levels
- promotes a healthy immune system
- promotes healthy eyesight
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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-07-2016
Written by Jeff Volling
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