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8 Ways Pumpkins Can Help You Look and Feel Your Best

Pumpkins can benefit your body inside and out! See all the ways they can help support a healthy diet.

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Packed with vitamins and minerals

Pumpkins are chock-full of many of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet. It’s a major source of vitamin A and will also help you reach your daily intake of vitamin C, potassium, copper and manganese.

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Keeps you trim

In addition to being high in nutrients, pumpkin is also low in calories, making it a fantastic diet-friendly food. A single cup of pumpkin clocks in around 50 calories and 3 grams of fibre. So you can eat well and feel full without worrying about going over your daily calorie count. (Here are 15 other foods that are proven to fight belly fat.)

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Protects your skin

Glowing, healthy skin starts with a healthy diet. And pumpkin contains some of the key nutrients which promote healthy skin, like vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A in its carotenoid form may help protect your skin from certain kinds of sun damage while vitamin C plays a major role in collagen production.

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Keeps wrinkles at bay

Pumpkin can help you achieve that sought-after glow on a surface level, too. You can put pumpkin-based products on your skin to give your beauty routine a boost. Pumpkin contains alpha-hydroxy acids which exfoliate the skin, helping to brighten your complexion and reduce fine lines.

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Supports healthy eyes

Vitamin A is a must when it comes to supporting healthy eyesight. In addition to having plenty of this nutrient per serving, pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin which studies think may play a role in vision. That’s a perfect excuse to try this Pumpkin Spice Bar recipe.

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Strengthens your immune system

With a wealth of antioxidants, vitamin C and a touch of zinc, a daily helping of pumpkin can help keep your immune system sharp. The next time you’re feeling under the weather, you may want to skip the chicken noodle and try a pumpkin soup instead.

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Reduces the risk of chronic disease

Because of its antioxidant levels, eating pumpkin may help to reduce certain cancers and chronic diseases like heart disease. Various studies have linked chronic disease to inflammation in the body and it’s believed that antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress. But how much do you really know about antioxidants? Take this quiz to find out.

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Oh, and don’t forget about the seeds.

It’s not just the pumpkin itself that boasts multiple health benefits, pumpkin seeds are great for you as well. These green seeds contain healthy fats, protein, antioxidants and vital nutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Try adding pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) to your yogurt, homemade granola or salads.

Next, learn what foods help prevent diabetes.

Originally Published on Taste of Home