The Health Benefits of Pumpkin

October 27, 2014

Before you reach for that cookie, consider the health benefits of pumpkin and try a few new ways to incorporate it into a sensible diet.

There are a lot of different pumpkin products available this time of year, many of them being baked goods that are full of sugar and fat.  While there are a number of health benefits of pumpkin, don’t fool yourself into thinking that by eating a piece of pumpkin cake you’re enjoying a healthy snack!

Halloween tends to mark the official start of the holiday season, which for many people means over-indulging in unhealthy food.  There always seems to be a bowl of candy in the office, people often bring cookies and other treats to share with friends, and of course there are the big holiday meals.  Pumpkin can certainly be a part of your healthy holiday diet, but make sure it doesn’t always come in the form of a sugary beverage or baked good.

Forget about all the bad stuff that normally gets added to this seasonal squash and take a look at these health benefits of pumpkin.

  • High in fiber. One cup of pumpkin puree contains 8 grams of dietary fiber.  This aids with digestion and can also help with weight loss as it helps you feel full.
  • High in potassium. One cup will give you about 10% of your recommended daily potassium requirement.
  • High in iron. A one cup serving contains 3.4 grams of iron, which supports your immune system.
  • High in vitamins A and E. These help your eyesight and boost your immune system.
  • High in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may play a role in preventing cancer.
  • Pumpkin seeds can help your heart and your mood. The seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being.  They are also packed with heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats.

Here’s a few healthy ways you can incorporate pumpkin into your diet.

  • Add some unsweetened pumpkin puree to a protein smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
  • Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds onto a salad.
  • Stir pumpkin puree into soup, chili or stew to give it a rich texture without added fat.
  • Add some to your morning oatmeal or Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Roast cubed pumpkin with a little olive oil and spices.


pumpkin photo

There are many health benefits of pumpkin, just don’t let them be outweighed by sugar and fat.

Photo by RichardBowen

The post The Health Benefits of Pumpkin appeared first on Pogamat.

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