The Benefits of Pumpkin – a Seasonal Superfood

Fall brings us a harvest of new seasonal foods to enjoy.  Pumpkin ranks as a seasonal superfood that delivers a multitude of health and wellness benefits to enjoy in addition to being a tasty treat.  Individuals with a degree in holistic nutrition can help clients learn the benefits of using nutrition to improve and maintain health and promotes the use of seasonal produce for creating healthier daily dietary habits.  Using superfoods, that are high in nutritional benefits and promote wellness, can help support their personal nutrition and health goals. 

Dietician and nutritionist professionals agree that pumpkin has a vast array of nutritional benefits.  One of the benefits of pumpkin is that it is rich in vitamins and minerals.  Pumpkin has a high content of vitamin A and beta carotene.  Vitamin A helps support a healthy immune system which is important during the cold and flu seasonal months when pumpkins are harvested.   Vitamin A also helps to maintain healthy vision and supports bone health.  Additional vitamins and minerals found in pumpkin are vitamin C, potassium, manganese, copper, and vitamin B2.  The abundance of vitamins and minerals found in pumpkin makes it a healthy choice to enjoy during the colder fall and winter months.    

Sports nutrition personal training programs also encourage adding pumpkin to your diet because pumpkin is about 93% water, giving this superfood a low calorie count.  One cup of cooked pumpkin has approximately 49 calories.  The high water content helps add volume when you are consuming it helping you to feel fuller faster so that fewer calories are consumed overall aiding in weight loss programs. 

Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants help reduce inflammation in the body and help strengthen the body’s immunity against illnesses.  Diets that are high in antioxidants have been linked to lower risks of cancer and stronger immune systems.  Diet for joint health can also be supported with pumpkin by reducing inflammation in the joints and reducing chronic stress that could trigger internal inflammation. 

Another benefit of pumpkin is that it can be used in a variety of different ways to add seasonal flavor and textures to your diet.  If you like smoothies, pumpkin can be added for an extra dose of nutrients and fiber.  Pumpkin has a mild taste on its own and mixes well with many different foods, such as a collard smoothie.  Just add a scoop of pumpkin before you blend your smoothie and your regular breakfast treat will be transformed into a powerhouse of nutrients.  Pumpkin can also be roasted and pureed into a soup, or roasted and served as a side dish.  Scoops of pumpkin can be added to your cake, muffin, or bread mix for added nutrients and fiber.   The seeds inside the pumpkin are also beneficial to consume.  The seeds also contain fiber, antioxidants, and promote healthy blood sugar levels, bladder health, and have been linked with lowering the risks of certain cancers.  Pumpkin is truly a superfood to indulge in during fall in winter.

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