Pumpkin Is The New Black
The autumn season is associated with cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and of course, pumpkin!
Pumpkin seems to be available in all products from coffee to cereal to desserts but did you know that pumpkin has significant health benefits? It is a good source of fiber and a low-calorie option that provides an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree are healthy options. Avoid the canned pumpkin pie mix as it contains added sugars and syrups.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Regulates blood pressure: The fiber, potassium and vitamin C in pumpkin are all good for your heart. Consuming adequate potassium is important for treatment of hypertension and it can also reduce the risk of a stroke.
Controls diabetes: Pumpkin seeds and puree helps the absorption of glucose into the cells and tissues. It is also a good fiber source which helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
Reducing cancer risk: Pumpkin contains a wealth of antioxidants, including vitamin A and vitamin C. A diet high in antioxidants can decrease the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancers.
Protect immunity: pumpkin puree and seeds are high in vitamin c, which is great for your immune system. The beta-carotene in pumpkin is converted into vitamin A and this process triggers the creation of white blood cells that help fight infections.
Good fiber source: Fiber is found in all plant foods but pumpkin has ≥ 3 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber helps you feel full, slows the rate sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and promotes smooth digestion and regular bowel movements. Most individuals in the United States do not consume enough fibers, so including pumpkin can help meet your fiber needs.
Aid in eye health: Pumpkin is a high source of beta-carotene and carotenoids, which gives it a vibrant orange color. Carotenoids are converted into vitamin A and vitamin A protects the cornea and prevents eye conditions like night blindness, cataracts and glaucoma.
Pumpkin is full of health benefits and can be used in a variety of ways. Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used to replace butter or oil in baking recipes, combined with yogurt and cinnamon for a healthy snack or dip, for soups, smoothies, muffins and bread recipes. Don’t forget you can also roast the pumpkin seeds and use for a quick, healthy snack option.
Check out these healthy pumpkin recipes: