The benefits of vitamin A in pumpkin 

Did you know that one cup of pumpkin contains more than double the recommended daily dose of vitamin A? For an added kick, it’s also chock-full of beta-carotene, which causes its bright orange color and is processed into even more vitamin A as you eat it!

Here are five great health benefits you get with every bite:

1. Helps prevent and treat symptoms of asthma. 

In addition lowering your risk of developing asthma, beta-carotene is also an anti-inflammatory, which can greatly reduce many of the symptoms of the disease and help you breathe easier!

2. Assists in cancer prevention.

The National Cancer Institute advocates that beta-carotene may play a role in preventing cancers of the colon, prostate and lung.

3. Helps you avoid heart disease and stroke.

Vitamin A can help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease as you age by keeping your blood vessels free of cholesterol. 

4. Improves eyesight.

Vitamin A can help keep your eyes sharp and is especially useful in improving night vision!

5. Maintains healthy skin and hair. 

Vitamin A is linked to growing tissue, skin and hair and can help keep it looking healthier longer by reducing wrinkles and helping hair retain its moisture and shine.  
For the most bang for your buck (and waistline), buy the whole pumpkin. Roast the seeds in the oven on low heat to add a kick to your trail mix or crunch to your oatmeal. You can also puree the flesh for various low calorie add-ins, including dips, soups and even cakes! Utilizing the pureed pumpkin increases the fiber and vitamin content!
To schedule a nutrition counseling appointment at Swedish Hospital, call 773-878-6888.

By David Modica | Published November 15, 2016
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