There’s much more to pumpkins than just that Jack-O-Lantern or filling a pie for Thanksgiving dinner. This vegetable is an amazing source of Vitamin A, antioxidants and fiber, but very low in calories. That’s only if you consider the orange flesh, because if you take into account the seeds then there’s an additional array of health benefits you'll get from this veggie.
In other words, there’s never 'too much' when using pumpkin in your kitchen!
Full of precious nutrients
The rich orange color of pumpkin flesh is due to the high amount carotenoids present.
Researches across the board have shown that carotenoids assist in staving off free radicals in the body: helping fighting against the development of certain cancers, preventing premature aging, cardiovascular diseases and other degenerative diseases.
Pumpkin is one of the vegetables with the highest levels of vitamin A, with one cup providing 245% of the RDA. Vitamin A is crucial in maintaining healthy skin, good visual sight, and mucus membranes.
Furthermore, pumpkins are an excellent source of Potassium (crucial for every sportsman), Manganese, Copper, Riboflavin and Vitamin C.
They are also high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin that protect the eyes against free radical damage, and prevent the formation of cataracts and degeneration of the eye tissues.
Loaded with fiber
This is another exciting feature of pumpkin: the flesh is loaded with dietary fiber. When you actually cut the pumpkin and clean the “insides” you’ll be able to notice the “strings” of fiber in the veggie’s flesh.
Fiber is essential for your gastrointestinal health, in helping lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, and in regulating the blood sugar levels.
Needless to say it, fiber helps you feel full for longer, curbing your appetite throughout the day.
Very few calories
You’ll be happy to hear that all this goodness comes at a very low calorie “price”: one cup of pumpkin has just 49 calories, with no saturated fat or cholesterol.
When you’re cleaning your pumpkin, remember to save the seeds. They’re an amazing product, full of zinc and other precious nutrients
Just wash them, toss them with some vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300° F (150° C) for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Stored them in an airtight container and enjoy whenever.
Some of my favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin
If you’re in need of inspiration on how to use pumpkin, here are some of my favorite recipes involving this amazing vegetable:
- Love this version of pumpkin risotto with ginger and sage
- A difference take on soup with this Thai spiced pumpkin soup
- An unexpected crusted butternut squash
- Great vegan bread with pumpkin and walnuts
- My personal take on pumpkin protein muffins
- I tried this pumpkin cinnamon rolls last week, and I can’t get enough.
The Iron You