From seeing them on your neighbor’s porch to scrolling past endless PSL content on social media, pumpkins practically take over our lives in the fall. But honestly, maybe they should do so throughout the rest of the year, too. Because the benefits of pumpkin are far more immense than you might think. It is a low-fat, low-calorie, nutrient-dense superfood! Oh, and did you know that it’s simultaneously a squash, gourd, and fruit? Fun facts aside, we’re obsessed with pumpkin for its multi-pronged nutritional goodness. Keep reading to learn more about this gourd-geous addition to your mealtime rotations.
You know how you’re always hearing dermatologists and celebrities rave about retinol? Well, they have good reason to, given that it increases cell production, helps to unclog pores, exfoliates the skin, increases collagen production, and more. But did you know that it isn’t only available in serums and expensive moisturizers? Retinol is actually vitamin A! And the news gets even better. Beta-carotene, which is abundant in pumpkin, converts into vitamin A in the body. Yep, pumpkin is, in fact, a fabulous skincare secret.
That vitamin A also supports eye health and a strong immune system. It’s an all-around all-star!
#2 Vitamin C
Speaking of supporting your immunity (of extra importance as we enter into these cooler, cold-and-flu season months), pumpkin doubles up on the support with vitamin C. Everyone knows that this all-important vitamin is a key player in keeping your body in top sickness-fighting shape. But did you also know that it may help to resist heart disease, cancer, and other diseases? This is because it protects your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are linked to those life-altering issues.
Vitamin C can also contribute to a lowering of blood pressure, and it increases the absorption rate of iron. The latter is a very important mineral that many people—women especially—struggle to intake and maintain at the proper levels. Vitamin C can even enhance the body’s ability to heal effectively from wounds. What’s not to love?!
Essential to the proper function and health of muscles, nerves, bones, and blood sugar levels, magnesium is an often-overlooked but core element of wellness. Because it positively impacts all of these things, it can contribute to heart health and a good flow of energy throughout the day. It’s also linked to maintaining a balanced mood.
In addition to all of these benefits, magnesium can assist the body in coming to rest in the evenings. According to Sleep Foundation, “One study of older adults with insomnia found that magnesium supplementation at a dose of 500 milligrams daily for eight weeks helped them fall asleep fast, stay asleep longer, reduced nighttime awakenings, and increased their levels of naturally circulating melatonin.” While this finding was specific to older individuals, the effect is relevant for adults of any age. The best part? This is a better alternative to supplementing with melatonin, which can have drawbacks.
# 4 Other Benefits of Pumpkin
No, we aren’t quite done sharing the benefits of pumpkin yet! While the above factors tend to be the most noteworthy, pumpkin also offers a host of other vitamins and minerals. It is abundant in iron and folate, the latter being the vitamin B9 and key to cell growth and function. Pumpkin also has tons of potassium and fiber. Both of those help with digestion, as well as weight loss and heart health.
The Benefits of Pumpkin Feel Endless
It is genuinely difficult to overstate the wonders of this bright orange squash-gourd-fruit (this fun fact really delights us, if you couldn’t tell). So, you may be wondering, “How do I bring more pumpkin into my life?”
Well, we always love a great pumpkin-forward recipe. Check out one of our previous blog posts, full of smoothie recipes, for some pumpkin chai goodness. But if you want to incorporate it more regularly, there is always our fabulous PlantYourDay protein powder! While it is packed with a variety of things to support all areas of wellness, it features pumpkin as a key ingredient.
We hope this exploration of fall’s iconic motif—with a powerful nutritional punch—has inspired you!