October is the month of all things pumpkin. Everywhere you turn there are pumpkin lattes, breads, muffins, risottos, lasagna, ravioli and such—there are even pumpkin beers.
What you may not know is that pumpkin is actually a super food. And whether you eat it mashed, roasted, steamed, grilled or puréed, pumpkin is packed with healthy benefits.
Good for the Eyes
Pumpkin’s brilliant orange coloring comes from its plentiful supply of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A— which aids vision—particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cataracts and may slow the development of macular degeneration.
A Great Source of Fiber
Pumpkin contains three grams of fiber per one-cup serving and it has only 49 calories per cup. A fiber-rich diet helps you eat less and it’s great for your digestive health.
Nuts and seeds, including those in pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Food sources rich in beta-carotene like pumpkin seem to play a role in lowering the risk of some types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer.
Eat up this October for your health. And for better health throughout the year consider signing up for CarePlus—a free concierge healthcare service with a team at your service to help you:
- find the right doctor for you
- quickly get the appointments you need
- get faster access to your medical information—like lab results
- obtain referrals to specialists and the pre-authorizations you may need
- work with your insurer to answer your insurance questions
To learn more, or to sign up for CarePlus concierge service, please contact our CarePlus team at 201-884-5329.