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Halloween Pumpkins are good for your eyes!

27 October 2016

‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin!

As the poster child of Halloween, pumpkin appears all over the Halloween period, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s a good thing. Pumpkin is great for your vision and overall health!

We’re glad pumpkin has so many health benefits because it sure is delicious! Pumpkins are high in fibre and full of potassium, which aid in weight loss and can help lower blood pressure. But the reason optometrists love pumpkin is that it’s great for your eyes!

Pumpkins benefit your eye health because they are:

  • High in zinc. This important mineral is essential to keeping your retina healthy.
  • Rich in vitamins. Vitamin A found in pumpkin protects the cornea, the surface of the eye, and allows us to see under conditions of low light. Pumpkin’s vitamin C reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration–two of the leading causes of adult blindness.
  • A great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These powerful antioxidants filter out harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light, acting like a sunscreen for your eyes! They also aid in preventing eye disease.

Now before you go running off to buy a massive pumpkin from Coles, you need to know that not everything you encounter with pumpkin in it is going to benefit your health.

A lot of the most popular pumpkin snacks–pumpkin pie, bread and cake, in addition to the aforementioned treats–should actually be considered desserts because of their high sugar content. So when it comes to these sugar-filled pumpkin treats, consume them in moderation.

Here are some healthier ways to satisfy your pumpkin cravings this fall:

  • Baked pumpkin seeds–a guilt-free, vitamin-filled snack
  • Pumpkin smoothie–perfect for breakfast or as a dessert substitute
  • Pumpkin soup–a great way to warm up in the colder autumn weather
  • Roasted pumpkin–make it the main course, use it as a side dish, or throw it in a salad

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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists

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