There’s nothing that symbolizes fall more than pumpkins. Whether you’re a pumpkin spice latte addict, or you count the days until you can whisk your kids off for some fun in a pumpkin patch, pumpkins are a seasonal staple. And even though we’re halfway through fall, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, providing plenty more opportunities for incorporating pumpkin into your table centerpiece, family menu, or house décor. And, as if you needed any more incentive to indulge in pumpkin madness, it turns out that these squash species are packed with nutritional benefits. So if you’re feeling a little guilty after that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie plunge, rest easy knowing the main ingredient was actually full of nutrients. Check out some dietary perks of pumpkin below!
Low in Calories, High in Flavor
Though pumpkin recipes are often supplemented with lots of refined sugar (especially over the holidays), pumpkins are naturally sweet like many other squash. The sweet, sometimes nutty flavor of pumpkin only carries a scant 50 calories per cup, making it a delicious, sweet treat that doesn’t pack a calorie attack.
Pumpkin is loaded with water. In fact, its made up of almost 90% water content. While this can sometimes mean that too much means you’re left feeling a little bloated and water-logged, it’s also great news for hydration and digestion. Plus, it has 3 grams of fiber per cup, which can help you meet those fiber points, especially if you don’t eat grains. Fiber also keeps regulate blood sugar levels, so if you have fluctuant blood sugar, consider having some pumpkin!
Like so many things that come straight from Mother Nature, pumpkin is packed with natural vitamins and micronutrients. While this fruit (yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit) contains all kinds of Vitamins, it’s especially high in Vitamin A, which supports bone health, eye health, and even brighter skin. It’s also a powerhouse of Vitamin C, which we all know helps our immune system and also supports healthy skin.
Have high blood pressure? Enjoy some pumpkin (or its seeds)
In addition to Vitamin A, pumpkins also contain potassium and antioxidants, which are known to contribute to good heart health. And the real jackpot for heart-healthy benefits is in the seeds, which contain fatty oils. So if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, scoop out some seeds, roast ’em up, and enjoy with a little sprinkled sea salt for an excellent fall treat.
As you can see, we’re fall about pumpkin over here! Whether you’re adding it to your front porch or your daily latte, we say go for it!