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8 Benefits Of Pumpkins You Didn’t Know About

8 Benefits Of Pumpkins You Didn’t Know About

Although it may not seem like it, there’s far more to pumpkins than carving and pie. This orange vegetable deserves the title of superfood, because it has a huge range of health benefits, most of which people don’t even know about. Let’s take a look at the hidden health benefits of pumpkins, and why you should start incorporating them into your regular diet.

1. Weight Loss

Surprisingly, considering that it’s so high in fiber, pumpkin is an extremely low-calorie vegetable. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains a mere 49 calories, but you will feel satisfied for longer due to the fiber content. This aids in weight loss, because you’ll stay full for longer without having to digest a lot of calories. Furthermore, pumpkin is fat free!

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2. Digestive Health

As we established previously, pumpkin is rich in fiber, which means it’s incredibly beneficial for the general well-being of your digestive system. In addition, it can be used as a home remedy for constipation. A single cup will make up roughly 11% of your daily recommended dose of fiber.

3. Vision

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, which is the primary nutrient that works towards keeping your eyes healthy. Also, it helps in the health and maintenance of your immune and reproductive systems. The aforementioned half-cup of cooked pumpkin contains a staggering 953 mg of vitamin A.Your eye health is further aided by the zeaxanthin contained within the vegetable. Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant that helps to filter UV light in the macula lutea of your retinas. This is highly beneficial in preventing age-related macular degeneration, particularly later in life.

4. Iron

There is a fair amount of iron in pumpkins, which is particularly important if you are a vegetarian or vegan. You need iron because it it is one of the key components of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to different parts of your body. Iron deficiency can seriously affect your health, as well as deteriorate your mental capabilities and resistance to infection and disease. As such, it’s absolutely imperative to ensure you’re getting enough. One cup of pumpkin has just under 10% of your daily iron requirements.

5. Tissue Growth and Repair

One cup of pumpkin contains an impressive 20% of your required daily dose of vitamin C. This is important, because this nutrient is responsible for keeping your immune system healthy. It’s also needed to help your body repair old and create new tissue, which is imperative if you’re someone who likes to exercise.

6. Cancer Prevention

There’s a reason that pumpkins are that bright orange color, and it’s definitely not just for show! Like its other orange vegetable counterparts, pumpkins contains an antioxidant called beta-carotene. In addition to providing pumpkin with its distinct color, beta-carotene may also help prevent cancer, as tests have shown. Make sure you keep those seeds too, though, because studies have also shown that the plant sterols in them may also help fight off different kinds of cancer.

7. Exercise Supplement

Move over, bananas, there’s a new natural energy booster in town. Our single cup of pumpkin contains roughly 564 mg of potassium, whereas its yellow counterpart clocks in at only 422 mg. Potassium helps after a workout because it aids in restoring lost electrolytes as well as keeping your muscles working the way they should.

8. Bone and Heart Health

Just in case you haven’t had enough nutrients, pumpkin is also rich in vitamin K. Comparatively, this seems to be a lesser-known nutrient, but it’s incredibly important for your health. This is because it helps your bones to grow and keep your heart healthy. Luckily, a cup of pumpkin will provide you with 20% of your recommended daily dose.

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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