While jack-‘o-lanterns light the trail of trick-or-treating, regular consumption of pumpkin could help you see better in the dark. One cup (116g) of raw pumpkin contains over 170% of the Daily Value of vitamin A – a powerful nutrient needed for night vision – plus other eye-related carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
The alimentary abundance of the orange orb doesn’t stop there. It offers one of the best sources of beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamin A a carotenoid linked to lower lung and prostate cancer risk, as well as improved joint health. In fact, a recent British study found that people with the highest intake of beta-cryptoxanthin had half the risk of developing polyarthritis (inflammation that affects at least two or more joint groups) compared to those with lower consumption levels.
Pumpkin also provides a good source of potassium (to help regulate blood pressure) and vitamin C (to help promote collagen formation) – all for only 30 calories per cup of raw. Haven’t got the patience to gut that gourd? Pop a tin of canned pumpkin – one half cup of which provides nearly 400% of your daily vitamin A needs, plus a quarter of your daily vitamin K needs, for just 42 calories!
If these health benefits aren’t motivation enough to put pumpkin on your menu, how about getting in the “food for love?” As discussed in a previous DNN, researchers at the Chicago-based Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation exposed male subjects to a variety of different aromas – among which the scent of pumpkin pie turned out to turn men on.
So, try our featured recipe, Pumpkin Pineapple Mousse Pie, to improve your health – and spice up your love life.
Published October 24, 2005