Pumpkin: More Than Just A Seasonal Ingredient

Today is the official first day of Fall, and as we bittersweetly wave goodbye to Summer, we say hello to cooler days, harvest, and autumn’s most popular icon: pumpkin. That’s right, tis’ the season for everything pumpkin! From appetizers to entrees, and beverages, you’ll find pumpkin spice in just about anything. The most popular dish of the season, and the one many people associate with fall, being good ole’ pumpkin pie.

While some may assume pumpkin to be something mainly used in desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth, there’s actually a number of health benefits this orange vegetable can offer. Let’s take a look at some of what pumpkin has to offer!

Antioxidants

3d rendered illustration defending some pollen

Pumpkin is just loaded with many antioxidant vitamins like A, C, and E, with vitamin A being the most abundant. This is a major plus for skin as antioxidants help fight off and repair free radical damage, and help reduce wrinkles by keeping your skin smooth and youthful.

Healthy Eyes

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Pumpkin contains a good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, which then convert into vitamin A in the body. They’re natural antioxidants that help filter out UV rays, improve visual sight, and protect against macular degeneration.

Loaded With Fiber

fiber

One cup of pumpkin provides about three grams of fiber. Fiber helps keep your heart healthy, prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy skin, prevents gallstones and kidney stones, lose weight, regulate bowel movements, and control blood sugar levels. Pumpkin’s excellent source of fiber helps keep you feeling fuller longer, and is very low in calories.

Rich In Minerals

Copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus are all in abundance in pumpkins. Some of the health benefits these minerals offer include anti-inflammatory properties, preventing premature aging, bone health, healthy brain and nerve function, heart health, improved digestion, and much more.

Pumpkins are also a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, with zero cholesterol.

There are a variety of delicious recipes out there that include baking, stew-fried, or steam-cooking pumpkin. Steaming is highly recommended since it keeps the maximum amount of nutrients in the vegetable.

You can also prepare pumpkin in pies, pancakes, ravioli, custard, and so forth. Add it in soups, soufflés, or stuffing. And for a great nutritional snack roasted pumpkin seeds are a must, which can also reduce enlarged prostates and prevent prostate issues in men.

Beware of GMO (genetically modified organism) pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. For the best results in health and quality of life, always buy organic! So, whether it’s a yummy homemade pumpkin pie or snacking on some roasted seeds, pumpkin without a doubt is more than just a seasonal treat. Eating it regularly can help keep you and your family healthy all year round.

Happy Fall, everyone!

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