Is Pumpkin Good For You? Here's Why You Can Sip Those PSLs All Day, Every Day
Fall is only weeks away, which means your favorite foods are about to be released in all their pumpkin-flavored glory. If you take out all of the added sugars (let's be real, PSLs aren't exactly the healthiest option at Starbucks), this season's staple orange veg truly is the superfood your body deserves. That being said, it's a dire mistake that we rarely pay attention to pumpkins past Halloween and Thanksgiving. Whether you prefer to add it into smoothies, mash it for a side dish at dinner, or mold it into a pie shape for dessert, pumpkin is good for you and should be consumed year-round.
I'll be the first to admit it: I am obsessed with all things pumpkin spice. Pumpkin Pop-Tarts, coffee, tea, cookies, pie -- you market it, I'll be the first to try it. The downside to overdoing it in the fall, though, is that many of us are likely to pass on pumpkin for the remainder of the year.
I highly encourage you to indulge in all of the limited edition delicacies this season has to offer, but I'd also advise experimenting with recipes year-round so you can continue reaping all of the pumpkin's incredible health benefits.
Pumpkin does wonders for your digestive track and keeps you feeling fuller, longer.
I could literally eat pumpkin all day every day, and now that I know it's jam-packed with fiber, I might just have to.
Lifeway Foods Nutritionist Emily Kean tells Elite Daily,
Pumpkins have lots of superfood benefits, and shouldn't be ignored until the fall season. Pumpkins are extremely rich in fiber -- in fact, just one cup contains seven grams, helping you feel fuller to prevent overeating.
One of the best ways to fuel up for the day is to treat yourself to a smoothie for breakfast. Add steamed then frozen pumpkin to your mixture to keep you a) satisfied until lunch, and b) your bowels regular.
Regular consumption can also improve eyesight.
Another benefit of beta-carotene is that it's excellent for eye health.
Vision Source reports that, because pumpkins are "high in zinc, rich in vitamins, and a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin," the combination of antioxidants actually acts as a natural sunscreen for your eyes, protecting them from high-energy wavelengths and allowing us to see in dim lighting.
If you're feeling particularly down, pumpkin seeds can put the pep back in your step.
I don't have to tell you pumpkin makes people happy; one look into the eyes of someone with a venti PSL in their hand says it all. But pumpkin seeds can actually play a genuine role in cultivating positivity.
The seeds you're likely to toss after scooping out pumpkin guts on Halloween are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in serotonin production. Serotonin resides in the nervous system, and the more you've got, the better you feel. So you might want to pack a palm-full of seeds for a snack on a particularly crummy day.
There's also a good chance it'll get your man in the mood.
Make sure pumpkin's on the menu the next time you cook for bae.
Orange vegetables contain a ton of zinc, aka “the ultimate sex mineral,” according to Men's Health. If you serve it up as a side dish or for dessert, your man's fertility and sex drive are likely to spike.
Happy Halloween, indeed.
Pumpkin seeds are also good for your gut and immune system.
Between your nervous and digestive systems butting heads, your gut goes through a lot. The best way to aid an upset stomach and keep your immune system healthy is to fuel your body with easy, immune-loving whole foods.
Keri Glassman, RD, MS, CDN, and founder of Nutritious Life, tells Elite Daily,
Most fruits and veggies that grow close to the soil are rich in minerals, but pumpkins, especially pumpkin seeds in the hull, up the bar for their zinc, iron, copper, tryptophan, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus content. These minerals, which are linked to cancer prevention and immune support, are found in both the flesh and the seeds, so make it a habit to dig in regularly.
If you're looking for a post-workout snack, pumpkin helps aid recovery.
Bananas are a great go-to for refueling after a hard workout, but when you compare the amount of potassium in one banana to that of one cup of cooked pumpkin, this fall staple surpasses your favorite yellow fruit.
The Huffington Post reports that one cup of pumpkin boasts 564 milligrams of potassium, which gives a recently worked out bod a renewed balance of electrolytes, ensuring muscles recover quickly.
Pumpkin even does a thing or two for the skin you're in.
While the rise of pumpkin appreciation over the last few years is exciting, I loved pumpkin before it was cool to say so, dating back to many an autumnal birthday party where my mom would serve warm pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But while pumpkin indulgences make me nostalgic for my playground days, I can't actually rewind to relive my youth. I can, however, utilize the sweet treat as a savior for my skin.
Sakara Life founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise tell Elite Daily they love pumpkin and implement the vegetable into their meal program because "it's rich in vitamin A and C, zinc, alpha-hydroxy acids, and beta-carotene antioxidants, all of which aid in maintaining healthy, glowing skin."
It's also worth noting that while eating pumpkin does your skin some good, you might even want to look into topical resources as well, because doesn't a pumpkin-scented skin care routine sound absolutely delish?