It’s the time of year when pumpkins are here! Hello Fall … or Pumpkin Season if you call it that.
People either love the pumpkin treats of the season or, well, not so much. Here in New England, pumpkin-everything is a bit of a trend. There’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Beer, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Picking … you name it … you can get it in pumpkin.
But, many of the trendy, yummy sounding pumpkin products aren’t all that healthy. They’re filled with sugar, factory processed ingredients, gluten, etc… Yeah, we know, downer, right? We love pumpkin as much as the next pumpkin patch-goer and that’s why we want to share all of the amazing, healthy things about pumpkin!
Let’s have a peek, okay?!
What's so great about pumpkins anyway?
Many people consider pumpkin a SUPERFOOD because it packs such a healthy punch in just one ingredient. Do you know that pumpkin is actually considered a fruit and not a veggie? It’s true due to it having seeds. So, when you’re considering healthy foods, what’s so great about pumpkin anyway? Well, it contains all of this:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamins A and C
- Vitamins E and B6
- Beta-carotene and <gasp…that’s a long list!>
Pumpkin is also considered low-calorie food but, even better is that it is high in fiber so, it may be a great tool in aiding weight loss or supporting healthy weight.
It contains important antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress and cell damage that can cause disease. Delay aging and body degeneration. Pumpkin is said to contribute to natural energy, promote strong memory and an amazing benefit is that it may delay aging and body degeneration!
It may help to:
- Boost your immune system
- Protect your eyesight
- Lower your risk of certain cancers
- Promote heart and skin health
TIP: 1 cup of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30g of protein. Sprinkle them on salads, soups, healthy muffins or just pop them in your mouth when you need a filling snack or energy for exercising!
What about the seeds?
Pumpkin seeds, sometimes called Pepitas, contain fiber, protein, some varieties have healthy fat (cardio + brain health).
Pumpkin seeds have been noted to be especially helpful for calming the brain due to it’s source of the amino acids tryptophan and glutamate.
They can also potentially help to regulate bowel movement and support digestive health.
Here’s a great recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from our long-time friend Dr. Amanda Tracy, ND!
Wow, all that just from pumpkin and some seeds? Yep…Pumpkin is a true powerhouse, do you agree?!
What's better - canned or fresh?
When considering canned over fresh pumpkin, always go with the mindset of Fresh is best. You’ll get the most benefit from pumpkins grown organically in healthy, nutrient dense soil. But, if that’s not an option and you need to use canned make sure that you use BPA free, pumpkin only – no sugar or additives. Organic. Roast with salt + pepper.
Best varieties for eating – Read more at Gardening Know How: Pumpkin Varieties For Eating: Best Types Of Pumpkins For cooking from the folks at Gardening Know How. Peep their suggestions on their website here.
What else can pumpkin be good for?
Let’s chat about ANTI-AGING for a moment. Who’s not interested in that topic? <Enter the sound of crickets…Ha!>
That’s right …enter our friend pumpkin again!
Pumpkin pulp can help to combats redness and reduce skin inflammation. It increases the production of collagen, which improves the tone and elasticity of skin and contains antioxidants that protect against potentially harmful UV rays. It makes you wonder why we aren’t all using pumpkin for our sunblock, doesn’t it? #plantpower
Would you like to know our most favorite natural Pumpkin Skin Scrub Recipe? The bonus about this recipe is that it contains 100% pure pumpkin and you make it at home to have an endless supply! Grab a free copy of the recipe here: PUMPKIN SPICE SUGAR SCRUB
Pumpkin For My Pets?
It’s true, dogs and cats and even birds and other small animals can also enjoy eating pumpkin as a whole food. Our animals can be rewarded with the same health benefits that we can. Pumpkin is good for their skin & coat, digestion, brain health and more.
Serve pumpkin in your pet’s food or as a snack cooked & served in small chunks or pureed right into their dish.
Pumpkin seeds can also be helpful for eliminating worms. Speak to your DVM / Integrative or Holistic Vet about how to best integrate pumpkin and your pet’s lifestyle.
So, how do you feel about pumpkin everything now? There’s so much to be positively perky over pumpkin for, right? What’s one fantastic thing that you learned about pumpkin today?