At this time of the year, it is officially the season for pumpkin spice latte and you will see more than your fair share of the all famous PSL popping up on your Instagram feeds. The delicious beverage borne out of espresso and milk with the calming flavours of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove would drive a whole lot of us crazy with this seasonal drink. What most enjoy it so much is of the fall spices that seem to whisk you away to a magical place filled with autumn leaves in their red, orange and brown hues. But what makes it such a heartwarming treat is that little bit of pumpkin puree that seems to hold the drink together.
Aside from pumpkin being such a seasonal treat especially towards the last quarter of the year, why then is pumpkin such a well-loved food? We feel that could be down to how earthy and rich its taste could be and also be down to how highly nutritious the orange squash is. Let’s find out why pumpkins should be a part of your diet today.
Pumpkins Are Extremely Nutritious
We are not kidding when we say how pumpkin is a superfood. Just look at its nutrition profile for yourself and you will see that a cup of cooked pumpkin contains a whole lot of healthy stuff. You have vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, fibre, protein and fat all in a single serving.
Vitamin A has been known to boost your immune system, helping your body win the fight against infections after infections. We all know how vitamin C is found in most citrus fruits, but they are present in large numbers in pumpkin as well. These vitamins help your body produce more white blood cells while boosting your immune cells and ensuring your wounds heal much faster. And of course, those vitamins actually help in the production of collagen, benefiting your skin by giving it more moisture and better elasticity.
The best part of it is that pumpkin is extremely low in calories due to its 94% water weight. For those who are prescribed multivitamins by your nutritionist, try adding pumpkins into your diet and you might just see the change in your body without the need for any supplements.
Pumpkins Have High Amounts of Antioxidants
Antioxidants… what do they even do for our body? For those who are kept in the dark, these antioxidants are actually there to combat the free radicals in our body. These free radicals are actually molecules that have been generated through the body’s metabolic process and they are highly unstable. When there is a high amount of free radicals in your body, it puts your body under something called oxidative stress and it has been linked to chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. What the antioxidants in pumpkin does is to neutralise the free radicals and ensuring that your cells remain unharmed. The antioxidants in pumpkin, namely the alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin alongside others, are also known to help keep your skin shielded from sun damage.
Pumpkins Enrich Your Eyesight
What… aren’t carrots the vegetable primarily responsible for ensuring good eye health? There is a new sheriff in town and it is the dependable pumpkin. We all know how our eyesight deteriorates as we age and as inevitable as that sounds, there is actually a lot more that can be done to preserve our eyesight and ensure that sight loss doesn’t come with age.
In particular, pumpkins have been understood to be the new guardian of our eye health precisely because of how much beta-carotene content each serving of pumpkin provides. When your body has beta-carotene in the system, it is then converted into vitamin A. Since a deficiency in vitamin A is a common cause of blindness, your consumption of pumpkins prevents that from turning into a pitch-black nightmare. What researchers also found was that people who consumed more beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin had a much lower chance of having cataracts as well.
Pumpkins Ensure A Stronger Heart
We are not talking about the heartbreak you endure when your favourite one true pairing on your K drama series falls out of love but the health problems that may befall your heart as you grow older. Coronary heart problems is a real issue that Singaporeans deal with and pumpkins could be the key to solving this problem. Just in a serving of pumpkin, you can reap the heart benefits from the potassium, vitamin C and fibre found within. Potassium aids in heart health since it regulates your heartbeat and helps lower your blood pressure. Similarly, the antioxidants that we talked previously actually help your heart function more efficiently. What do we mean by that? Those antioxidants actually prevent the bad cholesterol from oxidising and sticking to the walls of your blood vessels. This could potentially cause serious heart issues like strokes since it restricts the blood flow.