Yes, it is pumpkin-spice everything season. But did you know eating pumpkin (not just your favorite pumpkin-flavored coffee drink) has health benefits? Here are 5 reasons to eat this orange, autumn treat, whether in a pie, soup, or muffin.
Vitamins. Pumpkin is full of heart-healthy vitamins, including magnesium, iron, and more potassium than bananas! Magnesium is needed by every cell in your body, for hundreds of chemical reactions, including changing food into energy and making proteins. Did you know many people don’t get enough potassium daily? The potassium in delicious pumpkin keeps your nervous system and your muscles working.
Fiber. We all need it, and pumpkin is a great source. Fiber is great for digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, keeping blood sugar regulated and even lowering cholesterol levels. Adding pumpkin to baked goods or sauces will put a seasonal twist and a boost of fiber in your favorite recipes.
Beta Carotene. It’s not just in carrots! Your perfect pumpkin’s orange, red or yellow colors come from Beta-Carotene. That essential nutrient converts to vitamin A, or retinol, in your body, helping your eyesight, and helps maintain the health of your heart, lungs and kidneys. So instead of “eat your carrots!” this month, you can eat some pumpkin pie.
Canned. Did you know? Canned pumpkin is still packed with the benefits of fresh pumpkin, is available all year round and while maybe not as fun, is definitely easier than carving a jack-o-lantern. Plus, many bakers tell us the texture of canned pumpkin, which has been drained of more water than fresh, makes a better pumpkin pie. Regardless, you can be assured that even after canning, pumpkin still has all its great health benefits.
Superfood! Pumpkin, which is really a kind of squash, is low in fat while being full of fiber and nutrients, so is an excellent and versatile food choice for all kinds of diets. Bonus – pumpkin is almost 90% water, making it a hydrating, low-calorie, high nutrition choice and earning it the honor of being a “superfood”.
So, add some pumpkin to your meals this October, and consider keeping it around all year long, for some outstanding, and tasty, health benefits.