Health Benefits of Eating More Pumpkin and Ways to Add it to Your Healthy Diet
Pumpkins are most popular during the fall holiday months, however, pumpkins are good for you all year long! You may enjoy pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you should enjoy pure pumpkin every month of the year.
Considered a superfood, pumpkin has many benefits, including improvement of overall health. Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in calories making this a perfect filling addition to any recipe.
There are so many ways to add a little pumpkin into your diet:
- Add them to your pancake batter or make pumpkin pancakes
- We love adding a little pumpkin and honey to our plain Greek yogurt
- Smoothies! Add that pumpkin right to your favorite smoothie
- Add a little pumpkin to your favorite cake mix or cupcake batter
- For a super-duper food, add pumpkin to your mashed sweet potato bake
- Sneak pumpkin into your favorite mac & cheese recipe
- Pumpkin Latte anyone? Blend pumpkin into your favorite coffee drink
- Try adding a half of a can of pumpkin to your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Everyone loves Sloppy Joes – pumpkin does very well there
- Chili – Chili is perfect for an addition of a lot of things and pumpkin being the top of the list
- Pies, cheese cakes, puddings and custards made from pumpkin are sweet and delicious
- Pumpkin cookies are always a bit hit for Halloween and Thanksgiving
- Pumpkin Hummus for a great snack. Add a little pumpkin to your fresh hummus
- Add pumpkin to most fall soups
- Beer – start looking around the end of August for the new pumpkin beers!
Pumpkin is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of fiber, which is good for those trying to lose weight, since it leaves you full without unnecessary caloric intake and lowers the risk of obesity.
Also a great source of vitamins A and C, pumpkin helps to boost the immune system. Studies indicate that it may protect against some forms of cancer. Adding pumpkin to your diet on a regular basis also promotes healthy skin, lowers blood pressure and fights against asthma.
Pumpkin contains more than 100% of your daily needs of beta-carotene!
This tasty food gets its orange color from carotenoids. These pigments fight against infections, heart disease, cataracts, stroke, premature aging and other conditions.
Pumpkin seeds are also a nutritious and healthy snack. The seeds are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, fiber, zinc, potassium, copper, phosphorus and manganese. Snacking on pumpkin seeds instead of processed foods like potato chips is a good choice for those who are health and weight conscious.
Just rinse and clean the pumpkin seeds and lay them on a cookie sheet. Make sure the seeds are dry and lightly salt. Roast for 15 minutes in a 100 degree oven. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on your green salads or add to your muffins for a delicious crunch.
The health benefits of pumpkin even extends to household pets such as cats and dogs. Pumpkin is good for correcting digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation in your canine or feline companion. It is also good for their skin and fur. Most pets find it delightfully palatable.
Pumpkin probably will always be the go-to flavor for fall, and that’s OK. But its many nutritional attributes should not be overlooked. Instead of waiting until fall to enjoy pumpkins, make it a part of your regular menu and enjoy the benefits all year long.
Here is a great recipe for kid-friendly creamy pumpkin soup!