Pumpkins do so much more than flavor your #PSL.
When you think of pumpkins, you may be reminded of Halloween, the fall season, or that pumpkin spice lattes are back. Pumpkins are no doubt a popular fruit, but their benefits stretch further than flavoring your favorite fall latte or giving your front porch a spooky feel.
Here, learn about the amazing health benefits of pumpkin, and why you should add this plentiful fruit to your fall diet.
1. Pumpkins are chock-full of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that supports eye, heart, lung, and kidney health. Your body can’t make vitamin A itself, so including it in your diet is a non-negotiable. Enter: The beloved pumpkin. Just one cup of cubed pumpkin provides 60 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A.
2. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium. Next time you prep your pumpkin for Jack-o-lantern carving, save and roast the pumpkin seeds. Just 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 20 percent of the daily recommended value of magnesium, an important mineral for regulating blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
3. Pumpkins are low calorie and low fat. Pumpkins are a surprisingly low-calorie food. An entire cup will only set you back 30 calories. What’s more? That same cup only has 0.1 gram of fat.
4. Pumpkins are 90 percent water. Pumpkins are a low energy density (LED) food. “Energy density” is the amount of energy (or calories) per gram of food. LED foods are low in calories because they’re primarily made of water. So not only are pumpkins hydrating, but they’ll help fill you up without filling you out.
5. Pumpkins are versatile. Pumpkins have a mild flavor, so they can be used in pretty much any recipe you can think up. Not sure where to start? Give these yummy pumpkin-based eats a try:
Pumpkin, raw. National Nutrient Database. United States Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on October 22, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11422)
Pumpkin seeds. National Nutrient Database. United States Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on October 22, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/12663)
Vitamin A. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. (Accessed on October 22, 2018 at https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional)
Magnesium. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. (Accessed on October 22, 2018 at https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional)
Pumpkin. Produce for Better Health Foundation. (Accessed on October 22, 2018 at https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/pumpkin)