Pumpkin season is here and these gorgeous gourds are for a lot more than decoration and carving. Pumpkin is a real Super Food! I don’t really need a reason to eat more pumpkin, I am a conscious pumpkin eater. Willing. Devoted. Excited. I like pumpkins … can you tell?
Pumpkins are what my Ayurvedic friend would call a healthy craving – they are full of nutrition (see the nutrition breakdown here) and anti-oxidants, plus pumpkins are a great source of natural fiber. I created my Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie when my Mom was in the hospital and due to her medications, needed some … let’s call it movement. Smoothie was delivered and I ended up making many more for her while she recovered.
We can use pumpkins in our year-round cooking, although Fall is the time that they are most easily found. I tend to stock up on canned pumpkin to satisfy my Autumn cravings in summer!
Are you ready for some pumpkin? Of COURSE you are!
6 Reasons to Eat More Pumpkin:
1. Fiber – did I mention that pumpkin are super high in fiber? 1 cup of canned pumpkin provides about 7.1 g of fiber and one cup of boiled, raw pumpkin provides 2.1 g of fiber. This provides up to 1/4 of the RDA for fiber (especially for women!). Add to a smoothie to get that intestinal tract moving!
2. Vitamin A – one cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains 245% percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and maintains the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Plus, its aids in vision and research suggests that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
3. Low in Calories – low calories are a great reason to eat MORE pumpkin!
4. Heart Healthy – pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil contain the important phytosterols which may reduce the ldl or bad cholesterol and as part of a healthy diet, may lower your risk for coronary artery disease.
5. Full of B-Complex Vitamins – pumpkin is a source for the good stuff like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
6. Mineral Rich – increase pumpkin intake for more copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Pumpkins are so versatile that you can use them in soups, risottos, smoothies and a myriad of scrumptious dishes.
Happy Gourd Hunting! What are your favorite ways to eat pumpkin?