Pumpkins – this time of year, you will not be able to move without seeing pumpkins of all shapes and sizes in the shops, on doorsteps or windows, at local farms and on social media. October is the season for pumpkins, and we thought we would take advantage of this great vegetable this month to tell you that a pumpkin may not just belong on your doorstep but also in your tummy! Our blog looks into the brilliant health benefits that pumpkins have to offer, and you may even be surprised by what this brilliantly orange squash can do!
An 80g serving of pumpkin (boiled) provides:
Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, and their beautiful orange exterior sees this. When consumed, beta-carotene turns into vitamin A which, alongside vitamin C, which pumpkins are full of, constitute supporting a healthy immune function. Vitamin C also promotes immune cell activity, including increasing white blood cells. Vitamin A is also linked with a lowered risk of some cancers, including lung or prostate cancer. This study is only linked with vitamin A that has been consumed from food rather than supplements taken.
Another vitamin-packed into our favourite Halloween vegetable is potassium. Higher potassium levels have been linked with increased bone density and lowering stroke, kidney stones and type 2 diabetes risks. You can tell if a pumpkin is rich in potassium by the colour of its skin. The beautifully deep orange colour is a winner for the potassium levels, supporting lowering your blood pressure.
Lastly, the seeds in our pumpkins are often overlooked. However, we are here to tell you not to be so hasty in throwing those away! The seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that supports making a chemical called serotonin, ultimately promoting a good nights rest! They are also full of minerals that help raise your cholesterol levels (in a healthy way) and keep your blood pressure lower.
Ingesting pumpkins is also thought to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, the medical term for several conditions – diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. If you are suffering from at least one of these conditions, this may also increase your risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Pumpkins are also full of fibre which aids in slowing digestion, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and stopping that cheeky snack habit. Canned pumpkin, in particular, is nearly 90% water and holds 7g of fibre – more than two slices of whole-grain bread. Both aspects are brilliant as you feel fuller for longer and you are kept perfectly hydrated.
For most of us, pumpkins are naturally safe to consume in moderation. Of course, there may be some of us who are unfortunate to have an allergy to pumpkins, and those who are prescribed certain medications (for example, Lithium) should speak to their GP or healthcare professional before including pumpkins into their diet. They should also be consumed alongside a healthy lifestyle.
Check out some of our favourite healthy pumpkin recipes
Pumpkin Morning Muffins
Spicy pumpkin soup
As pumpkins are packed with nutrients that are proven to be positive for your skin, it’s no wonder that they play an essential role in the health of our skin. Vitamin C is not naturally occurring within our body, meaning we must find it in our diets. Vitamin C supports collagen occurrence and helps promote healthy wound healing and the prevention of bruising. Vitamin C also promotes protection against sun damage and skin dryness.
A lack of vitamin A in our bodies has been linked with a reduction in vision and blindness. Pumpkins are full of vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, all of which supports reducing the risk of age-related eye disease. Two carotenoids are also found within pumpkins – Zeaxanthin and Lutein, which have been linked to reducing cataracts.
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GDN Gym, based in picturesque Amersham, is here to provide all their clients with a place to work out and keep fit and work towards, achieve, and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle that works for them and their busy schedules. Alongside our luxurious fitness area, the internal grounds are home to our team’s hockey pitch and hockey classes. For more information or to book a complimentary consultation, get in touch with the team today, who will be able to support you in your new journey.