Posted on 10/18/2018
As people are starting to think about Halloween costumes, haunted houses and carving that perfect jack-o-lantern, they might not even think about the health benefits that come with pumpkins. Believe it or not, pumpkins can be so much more than just a Halloween decoration!
Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food, because it is rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, flesh and juice all pack a powerful nutritional punch. This nutritious plant is full of so many health benefits and is just waiting to be enjoyed!
Oh, and don't think pumpkin spice lattes count towards these terrific health benefits of pumpkins...quite the contrary, since those beverages are chocked full of sugar, empty calories and no real pumpkin at all!
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and it’s also what gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease and delay aging and body degeneration.
A diet rich in potassium-rich foods is known for having a positive effect on blood pressure. Getting enough of the mineral also helps you avoid cramps, muscle aches and fatigue associated with potassium deficiency.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which can slow digestion. This can help aid in weight loss goals, since high fiber foods keep you fuller, longer. There are 7 grams of fiber in 1 cup of canned pumpkin, which is impressive! And besides that, a serving has only 50 calories, making it the ideal “diet food.”
Now that you know how nutritious pumpkin is, I thought you might like some ideas about how to cook with pumpkin.
Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.