Pumpkin, the marvelous fruit—yes, it’s considered a fruit by botanists—is bursting with vitamins and minerals, it’s harvested each year in beautiful autumn and it’s a favorite of many the world over. Pumpkin comes in many sizes, colors, and varieties—it also boasts an array of wonderful health benefits. The seeds and flesh of pumpkin are full of antioxidants and vitamins.

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Its vivid orange hue means that it’s full of beta-carotene, a rich antioxidant that is a carotenoid which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A supports bone growth, a healthy reproductive system, and even contributes to a beautiful and smooth skin. Healthy doses of vitamin A are very important for beautiful skin, as it helps the skin to repel bacteria on the surface. Vitamin A is also essential for healthy eyesight, preventing cataracts and eyesight degeneration.

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Pumpkin is loaded with zinc—a vitamin important for reproductive health and has even been shown to boost potency, fertility, and even sex drive in males. Zinc also helps to slow the processes of aging within the body and while fighting off free radicals and contributes to healthy hormonal balance. Without healthy levels of zinc, a person can feel worn down and tired all the time. A healthy dose of pumpkin can help boost zinc levels.

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Pumpkin contains phytosterols, which help shrink prostates in men, so a serving of pumpkin can contribute to a healthy prostate. Women will love the beauty benefits of pumpkin, with its ability to boost skin’s radiance and youthful glow. While eating it nourishes skin from within, using the pulp of a pumpkin makes a beautiful face mask. Simply mix a small amount of pumpkin puree with a teaspoon of honey and an egg and you have an exfoliating and skin-smoothing treat for your skin.

Vitamin C runs strong in pumpkin also. When coupled with vitamin A, the dynamic duo works hard to keep an individual healthy. They are able to ward off free-radical causing cancers. Pumpkin is believed to be a good candidate for helping to fight off certain types of cancers, specifically lung and prostate cancer. The powerful combination of vitamins A and C are also excellent for fighting off colds and infections because they boost the immune system.

While fad diets aren’t the best option for losing weight, getting plenty of fiber in your diet is a healthy way to aid your body in losing weight. Pumpkin is full of good-for-you fiber. This will help you feel full while flushing your body of unwanted toxins. A small serving is all you need for a healthy dose of fiber.

Let’s not forget pumpkins are rich in the chemical compound L tryptophan. What makes this chemical compound unique is that it contributes to well-being and may be able to keep depression at bay. A vitamin rich in a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy and well-balanced diet, but the array of vitamins and minerals that pumpkin provides are sure to pack a huge punch when it comes to your vitamin intake.