Not just a seasonal favorite, pumpkins are packed with nutrition and health benefits.
While you might love a slice of mom’s pumpkin pie or a pumpkin spice latte from the corner coffee shop when the temperatures begin to drop, pumpkin is more – much more – than simply a seasonal treat. Pumpkins are packed full of nutrients and healthy ingredients.
Top Health Benefits of Pumpkins
It’s not just that pumpkins are incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; these nutrients also provide lots of potential benefits as well.
Pumpkins are full of beta carotene, which may help your body fight off some forms of cancer (such as prostate and lung cancer). Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols, which studies have shown reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol. And research indicates the carotenoids in pumpkin help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions that put you at risk for stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
But that’s not all. The high iron content helps keep your immune system strong, the potassium boosts muscle function, fiber aids digestion, and other nutrients (vitamins A, C and E, zinc, fiber, lutein and zeaxanthin) promote healthy eyes. And eating pumpkin seeds might even give your mood a lift as the tryptophan in them contributes to serotonin production.
What’s more, pumpkin derivatives even may be beneficial to your skin and hair. The previously mentioned bounty of vitamins and antioxidants may be able to reduce the signs of aging, fight acne and enhance skin tone, as well as strengthen hair follicles and increase shine.
All that being said, there may be some people who should avoid consuming pumpkin products. The otherwise immensely health food is a mild diuretic, and in rare cases can be an allergen. But for most people, the only pumpkin products to avoid are those with very little pumpkin and a lot of sugar.
We’re looking at you, pumpkin spice latte.
The Pickled Beet incorporates pumpkins and countless other nutritious and delicious foods into many tasty and healthy recipes for our Miami clients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are flavorful, healthy, and best fuel the body no matter what nutritional requirements might be part of the equation. Contact us for a free consultation.
The Pickled Beet’s Pumpkin Spice Recipe
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Mix spices together. Store in an airtight container.
Use in baked goods, chilis and stews, homemade vanilla ice cream and, of course, pumpkin lattes