Fall Is Here!

Fall is finally here! While not everyone is enjoying cooler temperatures yet, we are pretty sure you have already started seeing pumpkins everywhere! Many people will grab several pumpkins from their local grocery store to set on their porch or use to complete indoor fall decorations, but few buy them to eat. Popular fall favorites, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin cookies have given pumpkins an unhealthy, “special occasion only” reputation, but pumpkins are actually a super food! So, write down pumpkins on your weekly shopping list and enjoy their health benefits this season!

Make Makes Pumpkins a Super Food?

Pumpkins are a highly nutrient-dense food because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. They are also one of the best known sources of beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. Other health benefits of pumpkins include:

  1. The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.
  2. The antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene in pumpkins have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage as well as reduce risk of prostate and colon cancer.
  3. Consuming pumpkin can help control diabetes since the plant compounds in pumpkin seeds and pulp are excellent for helping the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines, as well as balancing levels of liver glucose.
  4. Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fiber, and consuming the daily recommended fiber intake promotes healthy digestion and reduces risk of colon cancer.
  5. Pumpkin also improves immune heath because it helps trigger the creation of white blood cells that fight infection.
  6. Don’t forget about the seeds! They are packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Studies suggest pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits- such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and helping to prevent depression.

As with all fruits and vegetables, eating them fresh is best! That is why fall is the perfect time to work pumpkins into your diet. Try to avoid processed pumpkin products, as they contain high levels of added sugar. For healthy, nutritious pumpkin recipes, such as Pumpkin Oatmeal, Roasted Parmesan-Rosemary Pumpkin Seeds, and Roasted Pumpkin with Feta and Honey, visit Delish.com.

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