Published On: Wed, Oct 26th, 2016

Surprising health benefits of pumpkins

It’s nearly pumpkin season! We all love it in our pies, cupcakes or even spice lattes… However, there are more reasons than just a delicious taste to get totally obsessed with this autumn superfood! Let’s take a look at the health benefits of pumpkins…


We asked Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritonist at to tell us more about the health benefits of pumpkins…


Pumpkins are rich in fibre – around 1 cup of pumpkin flesh provides about 5 grams of fibre (we need on average 18g per day to keep our digestive system functioning well).

Skin health  

Pumpkin contains vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, all of which have been found to play an important role in the health of our skin. Vitamin C is not naturally made by the body and so it is important we get it from the diet every day, as it plays a part in collagen formation, helps to prevent bruising and helps with wound healing

They are also rich in carotenoids, which are fat-soluble compounds that give the flesh its orange pigment. Beta carotene and alpha carotene are the most abundant carotenoids in pumpkins and can convert to vitamin A in the body. Your eyes will thank you for that vitamin A boost! Vitamin A, or beta-carotene, is also involved in skin protection from the sun’s UVB rays and may help protect against sunburn, although sunscreen is still required!

Eye health

A deficiency of vitamin A has been linked with reduced vision or even blindness. Beta-carotene, as well as vitamins C and E, can help protect eyes and reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases.


Pumpkins also contain the minerals: magnesium and potassium, which you need for good energy levels and heart health.

Immune system

As indicated by their bright orange colour, pumpkins contain beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A when consumed. Research has demonstrated that vitamin A plays an important role in supporting the immune system, of which around 80% is in the digestive system. Further research suggests that diet, including vitamin A, has a direct effect on immune system function.

Beta carotene also works as an antioxidant – protecting the body and supporting the immune system and slowing down ageing process.

Don’t throw away the treasure inside – the seeds!

  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and fibre, essential for heart health.
  • They are also packed with protein, which will keep you fuller for longer.
  • Snacking on pumpkin seeds is a great way of increasing your zinc and iron intake that support our immune system and boost energy.
  • The high content of the amino acid, tryptophan may make them helpful to support sleep and better moods.


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