Love Pumpkin? Your Eyes Do Too
‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin!
As the poster child of fall, pumpkin doesn’t just star in our autumnal decorations, it shows up on our menus too. And as far as we’re concerned, that’s a good thing. Pumpkin is great for your vision and overall health!
Pumpkin: Fall’s Superfood
We’re glad pumpkin has so many health benefits because it sure is delicious! Pumpkins are high in fiber and full of potassium, which aid in weight loss and can help lower blood pressure. But the reason we optometrists love pumpkin is that it’s great for your eyes!
Pumpkins benefit your eye health because they are:
- High in zinc. This important mineral is essential to keeping your retina healthy.
- Rich in vitamins. Vitamin A found in pumpkin protects the cornea, the surface of the eye, and allows us to see under conditions of low light. Pumpkin’s vitamin C reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration–two of the leading causes of adult blindness.
- A great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These powerful antioxidants filter out harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light, acting like a sunscreen for your eyes! They also aid in preventing eye disease.
Not All Pumpkin Treats Are Good For You
Now before you go running off to Starbucks for that pumpkin spice latte or the bakery for a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, there are a few things you should know. Not everything you encounter with pumpkin in it is going to benefit your health.
A lot of the most popular pumpkin snacks–pumpkin pie, bread and cake, in addition to the aforementioned treats–should actually be considered desserts because of their high sugar content. So when it comes to these sugar-filled pumpkin treats, consume them in moderation.
Here are some healthier ways to satisfy your pumpkin cravings this fall:
- Baked pumpkin seeds–a guilt-free, vitamin-filled snack
- Pumpkin smoothie–perfect for breakfast or as a dessert substitute
- Pumpkin soup–a great way to warm up in the colder autumn weather
- Roasted pumpkin–make it the main course, use it as a side dish, or throw it in a salad
Enjoy The Fall Season
Nothing says autumn more than the big orange fruit. When you’re eating all that pumpkin this fall, remember that you’re not only satisfying your tastebuds, but you’re also boosting your vision and overall health! So go ahead, eat more pumpkin.