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bowls of pumpkin soup

bowls of pumpkin soup

With cold and flu season upon us and winter vacations to warmer places just around the corner, many of us are trying to stay healthy and shed a few pounds (so we can actually fit into those bikinis that have been sitting in the closet since summer). Whatever your reason is, it’s always a good time to focus on your health—and that means getting serious about your diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that are both delicious and nutritious, including one fall staple that’s been shown to boost immunity and aid weight loss: pumpkin.

To learn all about the benefits of this festive fruit, we spoke to health experts Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, Paulina Lee, MS, RD, LD, Founder of Savvy Stummy and Eva De Angelis, RDN, Health and Nutrition Writer. Find all of their insight below!

 

Pumpkin

Who doesn’t think “pumpkin” when they think “fall foods”?! Luckily, this fruit is more than just a tasty, seasonal treat; it can also do wonders for your overall health.

Pumpkin for immunity

So, what makes pumpkin such a great addition to your diet—besides the fact that it tastes undeniably delicious? As it turns out, experts say this fruit’s immunity-boosting benefits come from its high content of vitamins C, E, and E. “All of these vitamins can strengthen our immune system and help reduce cell damage from free radicals, fight infections, increase white blood cell production, and make wounds heal faster,” De Angelis tells us. Richards agrees: “This combination aids in boosting the immune system and protecting against chronic conditions as well,” she says.

And we’ve got good news for pumpkin spice lovers, too; Richards tells us that the spices found in this mixture (like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice) also “contain the same beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants found in the pumpkin itself,” which means that you can almost justify an extra slice of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving… if you don’t consider all the sugar, that is.

READ MORE: The Surprising Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate, According To Experts

READ MORE: 3 Life-Changing Habits Health Experts Swear By For Losing Weight In Your Midsection Over 40

Pumpkin for weight loss

All those vitamins in pumpkin are good for more than just immunity! In fact, Lee tells us that increasing your vitamin A intake by eating more pumpkin could help you on your weight loss journey; she cites one study that suggests “vitamin A intake had a negative correlation with several adiposity measures, meaning the low vitamin A intake was often seen in those with more weight.” Additionally, the high amounts of antioxidants in this fruit “may help reduce obesity-related inflammation.”

The fact that pumpkin can really pack in the fiber is just another reason it’s a great food for weight loss. “Fiber keeps you fuller for longer and can lessen your appetite and the number of calories your body absorbs from the food you eat,” De Angelis says. Overall, this is one filling fruit that will help you stay fuller longer without loading up on calories, making it a perfect option for anyone trying to lose weight.

The bottom line

Of course, staying healthy from disease and losing weight is about more than just eating one food; maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up with healthy habits daily is essential to your overall wellness. However, incorporating tasty, nutritious foods into your meals is always a good idea—and pumpkin is a fantastic choice this fall!

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