All Treats, No Tricks: The Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin

October 17, 2016 | western

Sure, pumpkin is synonymous with jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie, but there's more to fall's favorite gourd than just decorations and dessert. In fact, did you know that pumpkin is said to offer numerous health benefits? Here are just four reasons why your annual visit to the pumpkin patch can be good for your body, inside and out!

1) Pumpkin can help improve your heart health. Here's added incentive to roast pumpkin seeds this year: Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterol, a plant-based chemical that helps lower cholesterol. The seeds also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps boost serotonin production, which in turn, boosts your mood and improves sleep.

2) Pumpkin can help prevent certain cancers. That's thanks to beta-carotene, an antioxidant that's naturally present in pumpkin.

3) Pumpkin can help you look younger. Pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, which can help boost your skin's cell-turnover rate and collagen production. These carotenoids are also known to neutralize free radicals and can help prevent skin cancer.

4) Pumpkin can help you lose weight. Hoping to avoid that dreaded holiday-season weight gain? Just reach for foods with pumpkin! This squash (and its seeds!) is high in fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer. You should opt for roasted pumpkin, pumpkin smoothies, and pumpkin butters instead of pies and breads, though!

8 Impressive Health Benefits Of Pumpkin [HuffPost]
6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin [Life by Daily Burn]
The Health Benefits of Pumpkin and Its Power to Heal [Reader's Digest]

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