Eat More Pumpkin for Eye Health and Better Brain Function
By: Bulletproof Staff
November 27, 2016
It’s that time of year again. October and September are prime pumpkin season, and America’s favorite squash is at it again. Pumpkin spice-themed goods are coming out of the woodwork.
Most fall-themed treats come with lots of sugar. In fact, some of them don’t even have real pumpkin. If you like the taste of pumpkin but don’t want the sugar, you’re in luck; this versatile fall flavor is packed with eye- and brain-enhancing compounds.
Here’s a breakdown why pumpkin is one of the most Bulletproof starches you can eat, complete with a couple recipes to get you in the autumn spirit. Enjoy.
Why you should eat more pumpkin
Beta-Carotene: Pumpkin’s orange color is thanks to its high carotene content. Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant that protects against age-related diseases and cancer by shielding your cells from free radical damage. Beta-carotene also converts to vitamin A in your body, and just one cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin A is crucial for keeping your eyes young and sharp and your bones, skin, and other connective tissue strong.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can actually be a little dangerous if you’re supplementing without the guidance of a professional, as the pill form bioaccumulates; much better to get your vitamin A from richly colored vegetables and pastured animal products.
Lutein and zeaxanthin: Pumpkin is rich in these two eye- and brain-enhancing carotenoids, too. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from UV rays and are linked with better eyesight in general, especially when it comes to night blindness or sensitivity to glare. Diets rich in these nutrients may also stave off age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and improve cognitive function.
Older adults who took lutein and zeaxanthin showed better memory recall while using less brain power. These two antioxidants are more bioavailable with fat, so make sure to pair your pumpkin with a hefty dose of butter for maximum absorption.
Bulletproof ways to enjoy pumpkin
Ready to get more pumpkin in your life? Try these delicious Bulletproof-approved recipes:
- Sugar-Free Bulletproof Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Keto Pumpkin Pancakes
- Bulletproof Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Flan (video)
Get your beta-carotene and enjoy it, too! Leave your thoughts about these recipes in the comments, and subscribe below for more recipes and ways to upgrade your performance. Thanks for reading!
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