Don't Wait for Fall, Eat More Pumpkin Now!
By Sara Butler
Here's an important reminder for your health: Pumpkin isn't simply a scent in your favorite candle or an ingredient in a pie, it's produce. And because it's produce, it's something that can be enjoyed any time of the year, not simply in fall. Plus, pumpkin happens to be incredibly nutritious with more Vitamin A in one cup than kale, more fiber than quinoa, and more potassium than a banana. It may even be able to jump buildings in a single bound, but that's not been determined yet. Here are just a few of the nutritional reasons that you should enjoy pumpkin all year long.
It's High In Fiber
Canned pumpkin is a great option when fresh simply isn't in season, so don't be afraid to use it! One can of canned pumpkin provides you with about 20 percent of your recommended daily amount of fiber. That fiber can help to fill you up, keep you energized, and stabilize your blood sugar.
Pumpkin is full of minerals such as potassium, iron, and magnesium that help to regulate your blood pressure. They're also really important for making sure your red blood cells get all the oxygen they can carry to the rest of your body. One cup of pumpkin provides you with about 14 percent of the potassium you need per day. A banana "only" has 12.
It Has Immunity-Boosting Antioxidants
Pumpkin is full of beta-carotene (that's why it's orange!) which your body uses to produce Vitamin A. This antioxidant is vital to the integrity of your skin and your visual acuity. Researchers have also found that diets rich in antioxidants and potassium can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
It's Low in Fat
Pumpkin only has 0.1 gram of fat in a one-cup serving. Pureed pumpkin has slightly more with 0.7 grams per cup. If you're concerned about carbohydrates, the carbohydrates found in pumpkin are high quality and will help to fill you up instead of providing you with empty calories as simple carbohydrates do.
Great Uses for Pumpkin
If you want to incorporate more pumpkin into your diet year-round, then consider using canned pumpkin in:
- Dips - You can combine pumpkin with some Greek yogurt and pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to create a pumpkin pie dip
- Sauces - When cooking sauce, substitute canned pumpkin for half the cheese in pasta sauce you make, then add in a little extra garlic, Parmesan, and onion to it. This will help make the sauce creamy but doesn't take away from the flavor.
- Breakfast - When making pancakes, muffins, or waffles, use pumpkin puree to increase its nutrition profile
Pumpkin may conjure thoughts of autumn, but it's a vegetable that you can enjoy all year long to add a punch of nutritional power to your diet.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio.