There are so many health benefits of pumpkin! Go ahead and indulge in your favorite autumnal treat, because it’s choc-full of full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s only in season for a short while, so get it while you can!
For many years, pumpkin seemed to be relegated to the ranks of Halloween decorations and the occasional pie, but lately it’s moved on to the dinner table. It seems that every time I log onto to Facebook or Twitter, someone somewhere is talking about consuming some sort of pumpkin something-or-other. And Pinterest is completely chock full of pictures of pumpkin porn – pumpkin soup, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread and even pumpkin chai smoothies. I’m totally guilty of hopping on the pumpkin hayride, too, with recipes such as Tempeh and Pumpkin Noodle Bowl and Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette.
I’m not sure how and when this pumpkin trend started, but I’m quite fine with it. There are many health benefits of pumpkin, so I hope it’s here to stay. Even the little critters in my yard are fond of it, as this big, bright orange pumpkin was on my front porch no less than an hour when I found it covered in nibble marks with one big gapping wound towards the bottom. Those squirrels know what foods are good for them!
Although fresh pumpkins are only available for a short time in autumn, we can enjoy it year-round thanks to the miracle of canning.
Pumpkins are packed with all kinds of good stuff!
This carotenoid is converted to Vitamin A in the body.
One cut of pumpkin contains almost 3 grams of fiber.
This vitamin can help keep your immune system going through cold and flu season.
Vitamin E is known to prevent disease as well as improve skin and eyesight.
An important mineral, potassium is known to reduce blood pressure, protect against stroke, and prevent kidney stones
Pumpkin also contains smaller amounts of copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.
6 Health Benefits of Pumpkin
They can boost your immunity
The antioxidants found in pumpkin, along with Vitamins A, C, and E, can help strengthen the immune system and ward off disease.
They can help protect your eye-sight
Pumpkin’s bright orange color ensures that they’re packed with Vitamin A, which has been linked to strong eyesight. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which can lower the risks of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
They’re great for your skin
The high vitamin and mineral content in pumpkin are great of healthy, glowing skin. The nutrients found in pumpkin seeds can prevent wrinkles and keep your skin hydrated and nourished, so don’t throw the seeds away when you’re scooping out that jack o’lantern!
They have an anti-inflammatory affect
Regular consumption of pumpkin as been showing to protect against joint inflammation and arthritis, thanks to it’s high beta carotene content.
They can make you happy!
Pumpkins contain L-triptophan, which is known for alleviating depressing and triggering feelings of happiness and well-being.
They’re good for your belly
Pumpkins are high in fiber and are very effective at treating such tummy upsets as constipation, indigestion and gas. (And I’ve heard pumpkin is good for doggies’ tummy troubles too!) The high fiber means they’re also good at lowering LDL cholesterol and regulating blood sugar.
My Favorite Pumpkin Recipes Include:
You may be tempted to sleep in on chilly autumn mornings, but a warm and cozy bowl of Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal will make getting out of bed a little easier.
Put the kettle on and enjoy a cup of tea along with a couple vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. They make a terrific afternoon snack, and they’re great for breakfast, too.
With fall comes days dedicated to baking, and these Gluten-Free Pumpkin Banana Muffins are amongst my favorite autumnal baked goods.
This salad full of apples, walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin – all of the foods I love the most in the autumn months.
This easy to make recipe is always crowd-pleaser! It makes a terrific lunch or light dinner.
This chili is a hearty and warming dish that will help beat the wintertime blues.
This savory curry is made with diced pumpkin, carrots, onions, and spinach, and it’s the perfect comfort food meal for chilly autumn days.
Nachos are the perfect treat for Halloween parties and fall get-togethers!
Filled with black rice, these Stuffed Mini Pumpkins are sure to be a hit at Halloween parties!
This healthy cream sauce is actually made with cauliflower and pumpkin, but no one will guess that’s it’s dairy-free and full of hidden veggies!
This is a fun twist on traditional tomato-based baked ziti, and it’s a great way to get in your daily does of autumn pumpkin.
Full of fall flavors, this Tempeh and Pumpkin Noodle Bowl will keep you warm and cozy on chilly evenings.
Get your autumn pumpkin spice fix with this healthy drink!
Your Thanksgiving guests will never guess that there’s no dairy is in this delicious vegan treat!
What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?