Walk through the aisles at Trader Joe’s, and there’s no denying that autumn is officially here. Pumpkin bars, seeds, bread, jam, pasta sauce, salsa…you name it, it’s there! Before you get to carving, consider munching, too. Turns out, pumpkins and their seeds have a whole patch of health benefits.
Remember how mom told you to eat your carrots for good eyesight? The same goes for bright orange pumpkins! Carotenoids are converted by the body into Vitamin A and work as a boost for proper peepers.
Pumpkins are also a large, healthy source of fiber, so a pumpkin snack will help keep you full and satisfied. This may be helpful for wait and diet management.
Just like other nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are a particularly healthy snack choice. They have chemicals known to reduce cholesterol and help with heart protection and blood pressure. Plus, they are known to provide a mood boost!
As for specific cancer benefits, pumpkins are a good choice. Full of antioxidants (just like cranberries and other similar fruits and veggies), pumpkins also have plant sterols that may help with cancer prevention and limitation. These same characteristics can help keep skin wrinkles and discoloration at bay. Pumpkins are also a hot source for Vitamin C, widely regarded to boost the immune system when consumed at healthy levels. In fact, consuming one cup of cooked canned pumpkin would cover 100% of your daily Vitamin A intake and 20% of your daily Vitamin C intake.