It's heading into autumn, and for many, pumpkins are part of what makes the season special. Pumpkins are especially popular with holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. These remarkable crops have been used in making recipes from generation to generation. They go great in pies, souffles, creme brulee, bread, soups, fudge, and other yummy foods. In addition, you can use pumpkins to make pumpkin spice for enhancing the flavors of your treats. On top of that, pumpkins and pumpkin spice are shown to provide several health benefits. Get to know the most significant health benefits individuals can expect from consuming pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Fall in love with pumpkin now!
Regulates Blood Pressure
Pumpkins are a major source of potassium and magnesium, which are essential nutrients that assist with controlling blood pressure. These minerals also help maintain proper blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels. Furthermore, potassium neutralizes the effects of excessive sodium consumption, which can cause a spike in blood pressure. Research has shown individuals with potassium and magnesium deficiencies may be at risk for hypertension, a condition characterized by high blood pressure levels. On the other hand, you can reverse symptoms of hypertension by adding more pumpkin to your diet.
Pumpkins are also rich in fiber and vitamin C. In a study, participants who took a daily five hundred milligrams of vitamin C for eight weeks saw a decrease in blood pressure. High blood pressure can result in various illnesses such as heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. Symptoms of hypertension include vision problems, breathing difficulties, chest pains, headaches, nose bleeding, hematuria, and dizziness. Typically, patients with hypertension don't experience any symptoms at all.
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Protection Against Asthma
According to sources, eating pumpkin seeds could help lessen the risk for inflammatory diseases like asthma, a condition that occurs when the airways swell up and become narrow. Pumpkin seeds are reported to have anti-asthmatic effects as they are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have concluded omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the amount of IgE antibodies released by the immune system as well as reduce airway inflammation. IgE antibodies have been linked to the development of asthma, meaning a high level of IgE antibodies could trigger symptoms.
Also, the magnesium content in pumpkin seeds might help prevent inflammation as the mineral is known to have soothing properties. Magnesium works to dilate the bronchial tubes, which transport air into the lungs. These tubes swell up during an asthma attack, promoting the production of mucus in the airways. Several studies have revealed magnesium can block the interaction of calcium with myosin, which causes muscle contraction.
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Lower Risk Of Cancer
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. It occurs when abnormal cells multiply and spread throughout the various organs of the body. Cancerous cells may develop in the breast, brain, lungs, small intestine, large intestine, thyroid gland, and so on. Pumpkins have a high content of beta-carotene, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties. You can find beta-carotene in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, particularly orange and yellow ones. However, not all responses to the carotenoid have been good, and some evidence indicates taking high doses of beta-carotene over a long period can lead to an increased risk for lung cancer in smokers.
Pumpkins are also good sources of vitamin A, vitamin K, and fiber, which have all been associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Moreover, the seeds in pumpkins contain significant amounts of B vitamins and squalene, which appear to combat the growth of breast, prostate, and colon cancer cells.
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As we age, our skin tends to make less collagen. Collagen is a vital protein also found in the bones, tendons, blood vessels, eye tissues, and other components of our bodies. It helps the skin maintain its elasticity, strength, and structure. The various vitamins and minerals of pumpkins, including vitamins A and E, are believed to promote healthy, youthful looking skin. Vitamin A may help improve collagen production as well as reduce wrinkles formed by the aging of the skin.
Vitamin E is another vitamin claimed to combat aging of the skin. It is widely thought vitamin E can inhibit the activity of free radicals, such as from UV rays, with skin cells. Other anti-aging nutrients found in pumpkins are vitamin C, copper, and zinc, which may help boost skin elasticity and tightness. Furthermore, some research has suggested the fatty acids in pumpkin seeds can slow down the rate at which skin ages. However, evidence for these claims has not been clarified yet.
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Another health benefit of pumpkins is they contain anti-diabetic agents. Diabetes happens as a result of the overload of glucose in the blood. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body, and diabetes reflects the body's inability to use the glucose. Individuals with diabetes should increase their intake of pumpkin, as they may help lower the body's blood sugar levels. Pumpkin spice can prove a beneficial ingredient in diabetic recipes.
Several components of pumpkin spice are ginger and cinnamon. Cinnamon and ginger have been shown to promote insulin sensitivity. Insulin is necessary to regulate the amount of blood glucose and store it to be used later. In a diabetic state, the body rejects insulin. It is also said the two ingredients can reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (referred to as bad cholesterol), a common condition linked to diabetes. In addition, cinnamon, and ginger can ease inflammation in diabetes.