For seniors, pumpkin season is more than an opportunity for a seasonal spiced latte. In fact, many elderly individuals could benefit from a year long incorporation of squash. Filled with healthful nutrients and antioxidants, pumpkins are the perfect addition to any senior diet. For seniors looking to up their vegetable game, you really can do no wrong when it comes to pumpkin!
- A Plenitude of Fiber
As with any fruit, pumpkin contains a formidable amount of fiber. In fact, it contains both insoluble and insoluble fiber. For seniors, both of these forms of fiber help aid digestion, maintain blood sugar, and decrease the risk of gall and kidney stones.
- Reduced Risk of Cancer
It is believed that pumpkin can help reduce the risk of cancer. This is because pumpkin is filled with an ample amount of antioxidants. These include beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene. Working with the immune system, these antioxidants can dispel cell-damaging free radicals that can lead to cancer.
- Reduced Cholesterol
For seniors who are looking to lower their cholesterol, pumpkin makes a healthful and helpful addition! This is because, as mentioned previously, pumpkins contain a formidable amount of soluble fiber. This helpful nutrient works to lower “bad” cholesterol, binding to it in the intestine and subsequently shepherding it out of the body.
- Immunity Boost
Another great facet of pumpkins is their ability to help boost immunity. Pumpkins are incredibly rich in Vitamin A. Even more so, their plentiful beta-carotenes work within the body to transition into another source of Vitamin A. This healthful nutrient has anti-inflammatory properties which can greatly enhance immune function.
- Increased Eye Health
Rich in vitamin A, pumpkin can help strengthen eye health. Containing the similar compounds of eye strengthening carrots, pumpkin contains lutein and beta-carotene. These work in tandem to protect and bolster the eye through the aging process. This is especially pertinent to aging individuals, as they are more likely to be living with age related macular degeneration or cataracts.
- Lowered Blood Pressure
A healthy dose of pumpkin can aid in lowering senior blood pressure. A 2011 study featured in the National Library of Medicine studied the effect of pumpkin seed oil and blood pressure. The findings revealed a significant reduction in blood pressure after regular intake of pumpkin seed oil.