|October 29, 2021

Eat More Pumpkin to Support Eye and Brain Health

By Bulletproof Staff
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

Eat More Pumpkin to Support Eye and Brain Health

  • What’s the deal with pumpkin? Commonly associated with the holidays and seasonal drinks, this vegetable is packed with nutritional benefits.
  • Not only is pumpkin delicious and easy to incorporate into your diet, but it also contains vitamins, nutrients and fiber.
  • From no-bake pumpkin pies to sugar-free pumpkin spice lattes, these recipes taste as good as they make you feel.

It’s that time of year again. Fall is prime pumpkin season, and America’s favorite squash is at it again. Pumpkin-themed goods are available nearly everywhere.

One problem: Most pumpkin-themed treats come with a ton of sugar. In fact, some of them don’t even contain real pumpkin. Real pumpkin is a versatile fall flavor without all of the sugar, and it’s packed with eye- and brain-enhancing compounds.

Below, you’ll find out more about what makes pumpkin such a special vegetable. Plus, you’ll find recipes that put pumpkin to use and give your tastebuds something special.

Why you should eat more pumpkin

Slices of pumpkin bread on white plate

There are plenty of reasons to eat pumpkin. It tastes great, and it’s easy to incorporate into most recipes that you’re already making. Plus, it’s packed with nutritional benefits.

Delivers essential vitamins and nutrients

Pumpkin’s orange color is thanks to its high carotene content. Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant that can protect 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 it helps keep your bones, skin and other connective tissue strong.[1]

One cup of cooked pumpkin contains:

  • Calories: 49
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 1.8 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 16% of the RDI
  • Copper: 11% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
  • Iron: 8% of the RDI

Pretty impressive, right?

Contains antioxidants that protect your eyesight

Pumpkin is a source of two eye- and brain-enhancing carotenoids.[2] 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.

Older adults who took lutein and zeaxanthin showed better memory recall while using less brain power.[3]

These two antioxidants are more bioavailable with fat, so make sure to pair your pumpkin with a fat for maximum absorption.[4]

Provides fiber

Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, containing 2.7 grams per cooked cup. Why should you care about the fiber in your pumpkin baked goods? Well, fiber plays an important role in your body.

Fiber is a carb, and unlike other carbs, it’s able to make its way to your large intestine undigested. Depending on whether the fiber is soluble or insoluble, it helps you maintain regular bowel movements, stay satisfied and support healthy gut bacteria.

Incorporating pumpkin into recipes is an easy way to get more of fiber, plus all those other beneficial nutrients. Talk about a tasty vessel.

Bulletproof ways to enjoy pumpkin

Ready to get more pumpkin in your life? Try these delicious Bulletproof recipes:

1. Sugar-Free Bulletproof Pumpkin Spice Latte

Sugar-free Bulletproof pumpkin spice latte

Ditch your traditional pumpkin spice latte and give this paleo-friendly pumpkin spice latte recipe a try. This take on the traditional PSL features no added sugar, just natural sweetness from pumpkin and coconut milk.

2. Easy Blender Pumpkin Collagen Bread

Sliced loaf of pumpkin collagen bread

Enjoy a restorative slice with this pumpkin collagen bread recipe. This hearty, moist, slightly sweet pumpkin bread will win you over the first time you bake it and will become a treat you crave on a cool autumn morning.

3. Keto Pumpkin Pancakes

Keto pumpkin pancakes on plate

Pumpkin meets pancakes in this delicious keto pumpkin pancake recipe. Serve these pumpkin pancakes with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee for an extra-cozy keto and paleo breakfast.

4. No-Bake Keto Pumpkin Pie

A plate of no-bake pumpkin pie slices

Turn that oven off, you won’t need it for this delightful no-bake keto pumpkin pie recipe. This delicious version uses collagelatin to capture that iconic pumpkin pie wobble and adds vital protein to support healthier skin and joints.

5. Paleo Pumpkin Oatmeal

Bowl of paleo pumpkin oatmeal topped with strawberry

This paleo-friendly pumpkin oatmeal packs a ton of nourishing veggies and flavor into your bowl, plus it only takes a few extra minutes compared to conventional hot cereals. Just one bite and you’ll be a believer!

Have your pumpkin and eat it, too! These delicious recipes are sure to keep you coming back for more. If pumpkin spice is all you can think about this fall, check out these pumpkin spice recipes.

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This article has been updated with new content.