I am a big fan of pumpkin and fall marks the official season of the pumpkin. Most people are not aware that the pumpkin is not a vegetable, but a fruit. Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and gourds. Although the pumpkin is the official mascot of the Halloween season there is so much more to fall’s signature squash. Pumpkins are low in calories and are packed with vital antioxidants and vitamins such E and K, just to name a few.
Below I have round up some of the health benefits of pumpkin.
- A cup of pumpkin provides 3 grams of fiber and is low in calories. It keeps you feeling full longer.
- Pumpkin packs a punch of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, an anti-aging nutrient that helps with the skin’s cell renewal process and promotes the increase of collagen production.
- The seeds of this brightly colored fruit are naturally rich in phytosterols. Phytosterols have been shown in studies to reduce LDL cholesterol for a healthy heart as well as promote a healthy prostate in men.
- One half cup of pumpkin has 6 milligrams of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for helping improve immune strength and it helps keep your skin healthy.
- Unsalted Pumpkin seeds may be helpful in ridding the of gut parasites.
- Low on potassium? Cooked Pumpkin packs a whopping 564 milligrams of potassium and it’s so yummy!
- Pumpkin is a good source of the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- It’s a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.
- The carotenoids in pumpkin helps keep cancer at bay.
When looking for a healthy fall treat don’t over look pumpkin as a source of nutrition. Pumpkins are a superfood and are more than just for craving Jack-o’-lanterns during the Halloween season they are a year round special treat.