Let’s put the nutritional spotlight on the much loved Halloween pumpkin:
- The bright orange colour indicates that pumpkin is packed with the carotenoid beta-carotene. Once ingested, beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A which is important for eye-health, boosting immune functioning and has been implicated with cardiovascular health.~ Pumpkin contains good levels of fibre which is the indigestible part of plant foods. Fibre has well documented effects on weight-loss as it makes one feel fuller for longer, hence increases satiety. Fibre also supports a healthy microflora in the human gut and supports healthy cholesterol levels by binding to dietary cholesterol, reducing absorption into the body.
- Pumpkin seeds contain plant-based chemicals (phytochemicals) called phytosterols which also support healthy cholesterol levels by inhibiting dietary cholesterol absorption. In addition, pumpkin seeds may boost mood as they contain tryptophan, an important amino acid for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating moods.
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