Oral & Vision Health Blog

National Pumpkin Day: The Unexpected Benefits of Pumpkin on Your Eyesight

Pumpkin carving is a fall tradition. But what do you do with the leftover guts and seeds you have now scooped out? Pumpkins have amazing benefits! They are full of essential vitamins and nutrients. Here are a few benefits pumpkin can have on your optical health and a few recipes to try with your family:


The nutrients found in pumpkins vary from vitamin A to Zeaxanthin. No need to worry, it is not as scary as it sounds.

  • Vitamin A has nutrients that work to protect the cornea, aid your eyes’ ability to see in low lighting, and can improve tear quality, especially for dry eyes.
  • Along with promoting healthy blood vessels, including the retina’s delicate capillaries, Vitamin C and E may reduce a person’s risk of the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of adult blindness.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, such as cataracts. They also support and protect vision cells responsible for filtering out harmful high-energy wavelengths of light from your eyes, like blue light.
  • Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, particularly in the retina. It plays an essential role in delivering vitamin A to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.


With all these benefits there is no wonder pumpkin can be found in anything fall related. Now before you run out and stock up on pumpkin spice here are some healthy, vitamin-packed choices:


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Repurpose those pumpkin seeds and separate them from the pulp. Wash the seeds and allow them to dry. After they have dried, spread the seeds out onto a cookie sheet to pop into the oven for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoy a tasty, crispy treat.

  • 1 ½ cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted or oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Optional: Season with your favorite spices


Pumpkin Soup

Place stock, pumpkin puree, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and peppercorns in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.


  • 6 cups of stock
    • You can make a stock from the pumpkin seeds and guts. Just throw them all into a pot of boiling water, let it steep on a simmer for about an hour, and strain everything out at the end.
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
    • Using your own, the ones not for carving, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min, let cool and then peel away the skin. Use a blender or an immersion blender to puree.
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


And on a sweeter, more indulgent note…Pumpkin Smoothie

Add your ingredients to a blender and enjoy!

  • 16 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Carving pumpkins can be festive, fun, and delicious, while also packing a punch of good vitamins and nutrients. Taking care of your eye health is so important. While eating healthy food is essential, the best indicator of your eye health is to schedule an eye exam with your doctor. Happy carving!

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