The Nutritional Power of Pumpkins – Not Just A Festive Decoration, They're Good For Your Health

Healthy Pumpkin

Pumpkins are packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and more! However, we often forget that pumpkins are full of nutrients and are a superfood you should include in your diet. Pumpkins contains healthy fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc.

Here are some other of the nutritional benefits of pumpkin, and ideas on how to add them to your diet:

  1. Good cancer fighter and good for your heart. Pumpkin’s bright orange color results from the high levels of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, an antioxidant, reduces your risk for many cancers, heart disease and macular degeneration. A 2010 article published in "Nutrition Research Reviews" notes that pumpkin reduces inflammation. Inflammation can lead to several chronic health conditions, including cancer and heart disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes and arthritis.
  2. Increases bone health and immunity. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Magnesium also plays an important role in bone density and increasing magnesium intake may make your bones stronger. Increasing your dietary intake of zinc may increase your immune function and help with wound healing.
    Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood, according to an article on the website, the Daily Burn.
  3. Add pumpkin to your…
    • …smoothie. Puree your own pumpkin or add canned pumpkin to for a fiber-packed boost. Mix with yogurt, cinnamon, bananas and chocolate chips for a fun treat.
    • …soup. Add roasted pumpkin chunks to stews, chili, and soups. Or add pureed pumpkin for a smooth texture in soups and sauces.
    • …salad. Add pumpkin seeds to your favorite salad. Try on a spinach and fruit salad or with broccoli salad.
    • …muffins and pancakes. Substitute 1:1 for the oil in your favorite recipe.
    • …breakfast. Dice and sauté with some potatoes for a healthier spin on hash browns.