Bring on the Pumpkin!

By Eye Institute of Houston
November 15, 2016

eey careIt's that time of year when the leaves turn from green to yellow to orange to red. The time when the entire city of Houston seems to take on the familiar scent of pumpkin spice. Or is that just all the pumpkin spice lattes being carried down streets and hallways? Whatever it is, we couldn't be happier that we are in the season of all things pumpkin. This fall fruit isn't just tasty, it's also good for the body. Here, we are going to look at a few of the reasons you can feel good about heaping on the occasional slice of pumpkin pie.

It's more than a Fall Food . . . it's Super!
Superfoods are described as being ultra nutrient-rich. That's a pumpkin. Yay! In addition to having nourishing vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, the eyes, and numerous other functions, pumpkin is also high in potassium and fiber, and that means it can help with weight management.
How Pumpkin Feeds the Eyes
There are a few specific nutrients in pumpkin that support eye health. These include:

  • Vitamin A, which keeps the protective barrier on the surface healthy and intact so bacteria cannot permeate the lining. According to research, this vitamin can also aid in the prevention of macular degeneration.
  • Vitamin C is a collagen building nutrient, and the cornea in the eye needs collagen to maintain optimal vision.
  • Zinc is a vital mineral for anyone with night-blindness or who is at risk for macular degeneration.
  • Harmful light gets filtered by lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in our favorite Fall fruit.

We have to Be Real
To say that any pumpkin is good enough pumpkin to be good for the eyes would be irresponsible. It is not likely that the pumpkin spice lattes we smell all over town are really made with whole-food pumpkin. Luckily, pumpkin pie contains real pumpkin. It also contains sugar, in many cases, so care should be taken not to over indulge. Consider other healthy treats like roasted pumpkin seeds or homemade pumpkin and oatmeal muffins to treat your tummy - and your eyes.

To all of our valued patients, we wish a happy Autumn!

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