It’s officially autumn in the northern hemisphere! You know what the means… ‘Tis the season to eat pumpkin! But the fact that it’s fall isn’t the only reason why you should be hyped about pumpkin spice and everything nice. There are MANY surprising (and evidence-backed) reasons why you should eat pumpkin throughout all four seasons.
So before you turn all your pumpkins into intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns and throw out the messy contents, take note of these 7 amazing health benefits. They’ll certainly make you think twice!
And maybe, by the end of this article, you’ll become the “crazy” lady at Whole Foods who fills her entire cart with canned pumpkin purée, so you can enjoy some pumpkin-y goodness year-round. I may or may have not done this. 😉
Anyway, here goes…
1 Lowers Blood Sugar & Anti-Diabetic
Pumpkin is found to have a supremely high content of phenolics (naturally occurring chemicals found in most fruit) and a considerable amount of antioxidant activity as well as ACE inhibitory activities and alpha glucosidase. Therefore, this vast health profile can reduce hyperglycemia.[1a]
2 Lowers Blood Pressure
Based off of the same study, phenol-containing pumpkin can also notably reduce hypertension. This effect is strengthened when combined with foods like corn and beans.[1b]
3 Prevents Vitamin A Deficiency
When one thinks vitamin A, the first food that tends to come to mind is carrots. Then maybe the color orange in general. Pumpkin is no exception. Most specifically, pumpkin is an incredible source of beta carotene.
By the way, people who have really low vitamin A levels (which is really rare in developed countries), are in the danger zone of becoming blind. There’s also a wide host of other complications, including dry eyes, frequent infections, and eyeball spots.
4 Lessens Inflammation
Pumpkin is chock-full of flavonoids and alkaloids as well as oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids. This phytochemical powerhouse ensures that this vibrantly orange fruit puts a damper on bodily inflammation.
5 Reduces Risk of Developing Chronic Disease
One word: antioxidants. Fruit in general tends to be antioxidant-rich, but pumpkin is especially high. Its deep orange hue is a key indicator of this.[4a]
6 Reduces Oxidative Stress
Carotenoid-filled pumpkin has been shown to inhibit lipid oxidation and oxidative stress. Oxidant overproduction can lead to serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease [4b].
This reason is pretty much an extension of reason #5. It can’t be stressed enough that foods rich in antioxidants can significantly increase your overall vitality.
7 Boosts Heart Health
I say potassium, you say banana. But pumpkin is also a wonderful source of this vital electrolyte!
Why does this matter so much? Well, for one thing, our heroic heart beats thousands of times a day on average. Potassium is there to aid in controlling its electrical balance, basically triggering it to squeeze blood throughout your entire body. Low levels of potassium = weakened heart muscle. But do be careful because very high levels of potassium can lead to potentially life-threatening heart irregularities. But who’s going to eat an entire pumpkin in one sitting on a daily basis?
How to Get More Pumpkin in Your Diet
No, pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin spice doughnuts DON’T count! Sorry, folks.
We’re called Health Mastery Movement for a reason, so allow me to recommend something healthy but tasty at the same time…
➜ Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. (Click here for the recipe!)
➜ Pumpkin Butter. (Just add pumpkin to some nut butter with a tiny bit of raw honey and cinnamon.)
➜ Pumpkin Date Bites. (Simply top these with pumpkin butter and refrigerate).
As for pumpkin pie, opt out of conventional whipped cream as a topping and instead of using blood-sugar-spiking table sugar, sweeten it with raw honey or one of these natural sweeteners.
Basically, if you have some pumpkin purée and some hearty spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, you’re good to go!
So there you have it! If these 7 reasons to eat pumpkin aren’t enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will.
What’s your favorite pumpkin-containing health food? And can you think of any other ways to ingest this super food?
1. Health Benefits of Traditional Corn, Beans, and Pumpkin: In Vitro Studies for Hyperglycemia and Hypertension Management
2. Extraction and Chromatography of Carotenoids from Pumpkin
3. Medicinal and Biological Potential of Pumpkin: An Updated Review
4. Potential Synergy of Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention: Mechanism of Action
5. Heart Failure and Potassium
*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*