While commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. That said, it’s nutritionally more similar to vegetables than fruits. Beyond its delicious taste, pumpkin is nutritious and linked to many health benefits
Pumpkin is rich in fibre, which slows digestion. “Pumpkin keeps you feeling fuller longer,” says Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN and an upwave diet and nutrition expert.
Pumpkin may be filling, but it’s also a low-calorie superstar.
Pumpkin’s brilliant orange colouring comes from its ample supply of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A is essential for eye health and helps the retina absorb and process light. A single cup of pumpkin contains over 200 percent of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.
Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin; two antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cataracts and may even slow the development of macular degeneration.
Looking for a way to ward off illness and improve your immune system? Try pumpkin. The large shot of vitamin A the fruit provides helps your body fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases. Pumpkin oil even helps fight various bacterial and fungal infections. Plus, pumpkin is packed with nearly 20 percent of the recommended amount of daily vitamin C, which may help you recover from colds faster.
Lowers cancer risk
Beta-carotene is great for your eyes and skin, but you know what else it’s good for? Fighting cancer. Research shows people who eat a beta-carotene-rich diet may have a lower risk of some types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer.
Vitamins A and C are “a kind of cell defence squad,” Kaufman says. “They are both antioxidants, and they act as shields for your cells against cancer-causing free radicals.”
It might help treat diabetes
More testing needs to be done before we can say for sure what pumpkin’s benefits for diabetics will be, but if you have diabetes, munching on pumpkin certainly won’t hurt.