From autumnal decorations to lattes, pumpkins are everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment.
But not just a cute doorstep accessory, this type of squash is also very beneficial for health and can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes.
Alastair Lockwood, ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at Feel Good Contacts, has shared exactly why you should pick up a pumpkin the next time you are doing a food shop.
Packed full of vitamins
Pumpkins are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc.
"Vitamin C slows down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and reduces the risk of cataracts," he explained. "Vitamin A protects the cornea and improves night vision, while zinc helps to deliver vitamin A from the liver to the retina to form melanin which protects the eye and helps slow down AMD progression."
Pumpkin contains lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are antioxidants.
"These antioxidants protect your eyes by filtering out high-energy wavelengths of light. They may also reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases such as cataracts and AMD," the expert noted.
Potential healing properties
In addition to beta-carotene and the vitamins that pumpkins offer, iron and folate strengthen the immune system and speed up the healing process of a wound.
"Aside from boosting eye health, eating pumpkin has many other health benefits," he added. "They are high in fibre and potassium, which help lower blood pressure and aid weight loss."