The Wellness Advantages of Pumpkin

A pumpkin is usually mistaken for a vegetable, but it is really a fruit. It is an autumn staple that is filled with health benefits.

According to dietician Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, pumpkin is such a nutritional powerhouse that it should be consumed year-round.

She discusses the health advantages of pumpkin and how you may include it into your daily diet, removing it from the category of seasonal foods.

Is pumpkin nutritious?

Move over, Charlie Brown, it’s time to give “The Great Pumpkin” a new meaning! This beautiful squash is considered a superfood, a term traditionally reserved for naturally occurring foods that are nutrient-dense and often low in calories. In other words, pumpkin is really healthy.

The wellness advantages of pumpkin

Although pumpkin is often found in sweet dishes and pastries, it is not very sweet on its own, making it an ideal savoury component. Here are a few of the recognised health advantages of pumpkin consumption before your next pumpkin-based meal.

  1. Appealing to the eyes

“Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, which is fantastic for your eyesight and immune system,” explains Zumpano. A single serving (about one cup) of pumpkin contains more than 200 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

Additionally, it includes lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

  1. Beneficial to the heart

“Pumpkin is rich in potassium, an essential nutrient for heart health,” adds Zumpano. A cup of pumpkin provides 16% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium. In addition, it contains heart-healthy vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants that may prevent heart disease.

  1. Boosts your immune system

A serving of pumpkin contains 19% of the daily value for vitamin C, an immune booster that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules that can bind to your cells). In addition to vitamin A, vitamin E, and iron, pumpkin is a powerhouse when it comes to other immunity-boosting antioxidants.

  1. Contains carotenoids that combat cancer

What’s up, Caro? “Carotenoids are pigments found in yellow, orange, and red vegetables, such as pumpkins, carrots, squash, and tomatoes,” adds Zumpano. Carotenoids counteract the effects of free radicals in the body, which may aid in cancer prevention.

  1. Maintains fullness

A pumpkin is a fantastic option if you’re monitoring your weight. “It includes just 50 calories per cup and is quite satisfying,” explains Zumpano. This piece also contains three grammes of fibre, which may help you feel fuller for longer.

  1. Highly nutritious seeds

Do not discard the pumpkin seeds! After separating them from the remainder of the gourd’s gooey insides, they may be cleaned, seasoned, and roasted for a healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds lessen the risk of cancer, enhance bowel and prostate health, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

“They are a delicious, protein-rich snack that travels well,” explains Zumpano. To add crunch to a salad, oatmeal, homemade granola, or yoghurt, sprinkle them on top.

How to include pumpkin into one’s diet

If you have always seen pumpkin as a seasonal indulgence, you should reconsider. Why limit pumpkin consumption to Thanksgiving pie and seasonal lattes when there are so many tasty and healthful ways to eat it throughout the year?

Zumpano provides some of her favourite suggestions for incorporating pumpkin into your normal diet.

  • As a side dish, bake the pumpkin in the oven.
  • Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin may be used to thicken soups and sauces, including tomato sauce.
  • Replace fat or oil in bread, muffins, and pancakes with pumpkin.
  • To plain or vanilla yoghurt, add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and a touch of honey.
  • Blend pumpkin into a smoothie, or transform it into a nutritious pudding.

Pumpkin spice lattes may be the topic of several memes, but this autumn fruit has a latte that can be enjoyed year-round. Even though fresh pumpkins aren’t available until fall, canned pumpkin is convenient, tasty, and nutritious throughout the year.

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