With cold and flu season upon us and winter vacations in warmer places around the corner, many of us are trying to stay healthy and lose a few pounds (to be able to fit into those bikinis that have been lying around in the closet since the summer). Whatever your reason, it’s always a good time to focus on your health, and that means getting serious about your diet. Fortunately, there are many foods that are both delicious and nutritious food, including a fall staple that’s been shown to boost immunity and promote weight loss: pumpkin.
To learn all about the benefits of this festive fruit, we spoke to health experts Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, Paulina Lee, MS, RD, LD, founder of Savvy Stummy and Eva De Angelis, RDN, Health and Nutrition Writer. Find all their thoughts below!
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Who doesn’t think “pumpkin” when they think “fall foods”? ! Luckily, this fruit is more than just a tasty, seasonal treat; it can also do wonders for your overall health.
Pumpkin for immunity
So what makes pumpkin such a great addition to your diet, besides the fact that it tastes undeniably delicious? It turns out that, according to experts, the benefits of this fruit for boosting immunity come from its high content of vitamins C, E and E. “All these vitamins can strengthen our immune system and help reduce cell damage caused by free radicals, fight infection, increase white blood cell production, and speed up wound healing,” De Angelis tells us. Richards agrees, “This combination helps boost the immune system and also protects against disease. chronicles,” she said.
And we also have good news for pumpkin spice lovers; Richards tells us that the spices found in this blend (like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice) “also contain the same beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants found in pumpkin. itself,” which means you can almost justify an extra slice of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving…if you don’t consider all the sugar, of course.
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pumpkin for weight loss
All of these vitamins in pumpkin are good for more than just immunity! In fact, Lee tells us that increasing your vitamin A intake by eating more pumpkin could help you on your weight loss journey; she cites a study that suggests “vitamin A intake was negatively correlated with several measures of adiposity, meaning that low vitamin A intake was often seen in people with more weight.” Additionally, the high amounts of antioxidants in this fruit “may help reduce obesity-related inflammation.”
The fact that pumpkin can actually contain fiber is just another reason why it’s a great food for weight loss. “Fiber keeps you full longer and can reduce your appetite and the number of calories your body takes in from the food you eat,” says De Angelis. Overall, this is a satiating fruit that will help you stay full longer without loading up calories, making it a perfect option for anyone trying to lose weight.
The bottom line
Of course, staying healthy in the face of illness and losing weight isn’t just about eating a single food; maintaining a healthy diet and adopting healthy habits on a daily basis is essential to your overall well-being. However, incorporating tasty and nutritious foods into your meals is always a good idea, and pumpkin is a fantastic choice this fall!
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