©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Diet and Nutrition: Health Benefits of Pumpkin

  • Reviewed By: Neha Pathak, MD
Reviewed on 9/26/2018

Beta Carotene Boost

With all the goodness pumpkins offer, surely an extra-large pumpkin spice latte with a pumpkin muffin can't hurt.

Just like their orange cousins, the carrot and the sweet potato, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene. Your body changes this antioxidant to vitamin A. You need vitamin A to see, ward off germs, and for your reproductive system to work the way it should. It also helps your heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs stay healthy.

Sharpen Your Sight

Vitamin A helps you have healthy eyes and see more clearly.

One cup of pumpkin can give you 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. If you get it, your eyes will thank you. Vitamin A helps you have healthy eyes and see more clearly, especially in low-light conditions.

Curb Your Cancer Risk

Pumpkin's vitamin A kick brings another biggie: a lowered risk of certain kinds of cancer.

Pumpkin's vitamin A kick brings another biggie: a lowered risk of certain kinds of cancer, like lung or prostate cancer. Studies show this benefit comes only when you eat foods with vitamin A. You don't get the same protection from vitamin A supplements alone.

Boost Your Immunity

More pumpkin in your diet can help your immune cells work better.

In addition to beta carotene, pumpkins offer vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and folate -- all of which strengthen your immune system. More pumpkin in your diet can help your immune cells work better to ward off germs and speed healing when you get a wound.

Help Hypertension

Pumpkin's rich orange color is also a sign it's packed with potassium.

Pumpkin's rich orange color is also a sign it's packed with potassium. This is crucial for lowering blood pressure. Unsalted pumpkin seeds are also crammed with minerals and plant sterols that raise HDL cholesterol levels (the "good" kind) and help keep blood pressure numbers down, too.

Potassium O'Plenty

Potassium may also increase bone mineral density, boosting your bone health.

More good news about pumpkins' potassium power: Studies show that higher potassium levels can lower your risk of stroke, kidney stones, and type 2 diabetes. Another bonus: Potassium may also increase bone mineral density, boosting your bone health.

Trim Your Tummy

Pumpkins are high in fiber and low in calories.

Pumpkins are high in fiber and low in calories. That means they make you feel full without adding to your overall food intake for the day. If you're looking for a healthy way to fill up, nutrient-rich pumpkin is a good go-to choice. The fiber uptick in your diet promotes digestive health, too, so what goes in comes out on a regular basis.

Sleep More Soundly

Pumpkin seeds have tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make a chemical called serotonin.

Pumpkin seeds have tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make a chemical called serotonin. In addition to making you feel good, serotonin is also a key player in promoting good sleep.

Soothe Skin

Your odds of heart disease go down as your fiber intake goes up, and pumpkin is loaded with it.

The antioxidant power of beta carotene in pumpkin works to combat the effects of aging on your skin. It also helps ease inflammation, which keeps your skin -- and your body -- calmer and happier.

Help Your Heart

Your odds of heart disease go down as your fiber intake goes up, and pumpkin is loaded with it.

Your odds of heart disease go down as your fiber intake goes up, and pumpkin is loaded with it. But it isn't just the fiber that takes care of your ticker: The vitamin A and potassium you get when you add pumpkin to your diet also play a part in heart health.

Best Ways to Eat Pumpkin

With all the goodness pumpkins offer, surely an extra-large pumpkin spice latte with a pumpkin muffin can't hurt.

With all the goodness pumpkins offer, surely an extra-large pumpkin spice latte with a pumpkin muffin can't hurt. But experts say hold your horses. The best way to get pumpkin's health benefits is to avoid the sugar and processing of baked goods or pumpkin flavor. Opt for more wholesome choices, like roasted pumpkin, pumpkin puree, pumpkin hummus, or pumpkin soup.

Diet and Nutrition: Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Sources: Sources

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information: Disclaimer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW