Carving a jack-o-lantern is a fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween. However, it can also be a way to boost immunity and support heart health.
Pumpkins are loaded with healthy antioxidants. The bright orange color indicates high levels of beta-carotene, a nutrient that has been shown to support vision and heart health. According to the Mayo Clinic, beta-carotenes have been shown to help asthmatics control their symptoms and give the immune system a boost, which may be important as cold and flu season approaches.
In addition to beta-carotenes, pumpkins are good sources of a range of other nutrients. They have high levels of calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamin C, according to information from the University of Illinois.
Rather than discarding the insides after carving jack-o-lanterns or leaving them out all season as decorations, individuals may want to use them in their cooking to take advantage of their health benefits. Pumpkins are often baked into muffins, Danishes and pies. Their seeds also make healthful snacks after they are roasted.