Pumpkin is your Halloween superfood

·2-min read

Pumpkins aren't just for decorating your house on Halloween - they are also a vitamin-rich food that can benefit our overall health and vision.

The winter fruit is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc - all of which have incredible health benefits, according to ophthalmologist, eye surgeon and eye health advisor Alastair Lockwood of Feel Good Contacts.

Vitamin C slows down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and reduces the risk of cataracts. Pumpkins also contain beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, which is known as a vital nutrient for vision, and also plays a critical role in cell growth and maintaining healthy organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Zinc, meanwhile, helps to deliver vitamin A from the liver to the retina to form melanin, which protects the eye and helps slow down AMD progression. The spooky snack also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are antioxidants and may reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases.

That's not all, as they also contain iron and folate, which strengthen the immune system and speed up the healing process of a wound, as well as fibre and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and aid weight loss.

"While the market is saturated with pumpkin snacks, many of these snacks, including pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin pie, are packed with sugar," warned Lockwood. "Snacks and beverages such as these are best enjoyed in moderation. Healthy pumpkin snacks include baked pumpkin seeds, which are packed with vitamins, smoothies, and soup."

He particularly suggests soup - which can be made and stored then heated up to keep you warm throughout the winter. Roasted pumpkins can also be added to salads, while by mixing your excess jack-o'-lanterns with banana, milk, sugar, and cinnamon you can make yourself a delicious smoothie.

So there you have it - pumpkins aren't just for Halloween - they are a super, spooky food that can help keep those health gremlins away all winter.

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