The health benefits of pumpkins

ATLANTA (CNN) – It’s fall, time for cool weather, colorful foliage and Halloween pumpkins, but did you know that pumpkins can be a valuable part of your diet?

Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration, they are a healthy food packed with vitamins and nutrients that can help us stay slim and fight diseases.

Eating pumpkin can help with weight loss. Cooked pumpkin is high in fiber which slows digestion and helps us feel full longer. It often makes it less tempting to reach for fattening treats. Pumpkin is also a low-calorie superstar with less than 50 calories a serving.

Eyes can also benefit from adding pumpkin to our diet. It’s a food high in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A is essential to eye health. A single cup of pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of what most people need of this nutrient in a day. That beta carotene in pumpkin can also help in the fight against cancer. This antioxidant and others help shield our cells against cancer-causing free radicals.

Eating pumpkin can help keep our skin looking younger. The beta-carotene that helps our eyes and helps ward off cancer also protects us from the sun’s wrinkle-causing UV rays.

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