Pumpkin Health Benefits
Every fall season, a few things become crazy popular: football, scarves, boots and layers, and, of course, pumpkin everything. We’re going to talk more pumpkin here and cover some health benefits of the bright orange squash. Botanically, pumpkin is considered a fruit, but for culinary purposes, it’s most often referred to as a vegetable.
It’s full of antioxidants
- Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin (2).These nutrients give pumpkin its orange color and have many, many health benefits!
- Beta-carotene is a provitamin, meaning it converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for eye health, bone health, cellular growth, skin health and much more. One cup of mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A (1).
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are protective for eye health. Research shows these nutrients reduce risk for macular degeneration and may have a positive impact on cognitive function (3-6).
It’s a good source of fiber
- The amount of fiber in pumpkin will vary depending on the cooking method. One cup of canned pumpkin provides about 6-7 grams of fiber, while one cup of fresh, boiled pumpkin provides 2-3 grams of fiber. This fiber helps keep our guts happy! It feeds our good bacteria, which not only impacts digestion, but positively fuels our immune system.
It’s a source of potassium, vitamin C, B6, manganese, magnesium and many more nutrients
- There are many nutrients we could highlight here, as pumpkin has a variety of micronutrients! These nutrients support the immune system and keep cells nourished!
- Potassium and magnesium are specifically great for cellular hydration. Water is essential for hydration, but for cellular hydration (the water makes it into the cell) you need the right nutrients!
You can use the seeds for even more benefits
- Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and healthy fats! If you’re carving pumpkins or making a pumpkin dish from scratch, don’t toss the seeds. Clean them up and bake them for an extra crunchy treat.
Whether you’re interested in pumpkin for the nutrition benefits, or the taste, check out the pumpkin recipes provided in the 131 METHOD.
Ranch Trail Mix (using pumpkin seeds)
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