Nothing says you’re at home on Halloween night better than a spooky-looking pumpkin glowing in your front window. But pumpkins are more than just a starting point for Jack-o’-lanterns. They’re also widely grown for commercial use and as food. But before you pick up a knife and begin chopping away at the symbol of Halloween in your kitchen, you’ll first want to know, is pumpkin good for you?
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Is Pumpkin a Fruit or Vegetable?
Before we begin to explore the health benefits of the pumpkin, we need first to establish whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable. Although often mistaken as part of the vegetable family, pumpkins are a fruit from a botanist’s point of view. Unlike vegetables, which are edible portions of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, and bulbs, fruit is the product of the seed-bearing composition of flowering plants. The seeds contained within the pumpkin are the give-away sign. So now we’ve established pumpkins are indeed fruit, we can now take a look at the healthy organic solutions that pumpkins offer us and answer the question, is pumpkin good for you?
Is Pumpkin Good For You?
Yes it is! Pumpkin has many health benefits and is high in fiber and low in calories. It also has other great health benefits such as high in carotenoids, certain vitamins and minerals. Since pumpkin is high in fiber, it can help curb your appetite. Pumpkins contain antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can also help boost your immune system. Its supply of vitamin E, iron and folate may strengthen your immunity as well.
So let’s waste no time by saying, pumpkins are highly nutritious. To begin with they are rich in vitamin A. The fat-soluble vitamin is essential for normal vision and plays a significant role in maintaining a robust immune system. It also supports the optimum function of the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Pumpkins are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants have many benefits. For instance, they protect the cells in the body from free radicals. Although free radicals help destroy bacteria, their varying and excessive amounts in the body can cause oxidative stress. The antioxidants found in pumpkins include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These can stop free radicals from damaging your cells by neutralizing them. The high antioxidant content may also play a role in lowering the risk of cancer. The generous amount of carotenoids found in pumpkins act as antioxidants allowing them to neutralize free radicals, protecting against certain cancers. With only 245 calories per 245-gram serving, the orange fruit could help support weight loss. With around 94% water, pumpkins can be consumed in higher volumes than other carbs such as rice and potatoes due to their far lower calorie count.
One of the key ingredients in a healthy heart is potassium. A one-cup serving of pumpkin contains around 16% of a person’s recommended daily amount (RDA) of the mineral. In addition to supporting a healthy heart, potassium helps to regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. What’s more, a diet rich in potassium could also play a role in reducing blood pressure and water retention.
The plump, nutritious fruit is also rich in other nutrients. Each 245 gram (one cup) serving contains:
- 1.76 g of protein
- 2.7 g of fiber
- 0.17 g of fat
- 0 g of cholesterol
- 12 g of carbohydrate
Aside from the above, pumpkins also contain many essential vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
And let’s not forget. Inside the pumpkin is home to plenty of other deliciously nutritious treats. The seeds inside the orange fruit also pack a punch when to comes to healthy eating.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Good For You?
Pumpkin seeds are very nutritious and easy to find in stores. Pumpkin seeds are the winning plant based food with 168mg of magnesium in a 1oz serving. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to improve heart health, blood sugar levels, fertility and sleep quality. They also are high in antioxidants. Enjoy pumpkin seeds salted and roasted.
Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein and unsaturated fat. In fact, the American Heart Foundation recommends a person consumes a quarter of a cup each day as part of a healthy diet. Besides the protein consumers can benefit from, the 30 g serving will also provide a good amount of healthy fats, fiber, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and other beneficial nutrients.
Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin
- High in Beta Carotene
- Lower Cancer Risk
- Help to Sleep Better
- Sharpen Your Vision
- High in Fiber
- Low in Calories
- High in Potassium
- Immune Booster
- Improve Skin
- Help Heart Health
- Lower Blood Pressure
Can you Eat Pumpkin Everyday?
Adding pumpkin to a daily diet could be beneficial, especially for those wishing to increase their daily intake of fiber. Probably one of the most common pumpkin recipes is pumpkin pie. But there are many ways in which the seasonal fruit can be added to a daily diet. For a delicious pumpkin-infused treat, why not try my recipe for pumpkin spice biscuits.
Pumpkin can also transform your baked goods, especially in pureed form. Not only does it act as a sweetener, but it is often used as a substitute for cooking oil. It also goes well with pasta to provide a high fiber, high-energy meal. And what’s better on a cold Halloween night than a bowl of warm pumpkin soup, and get this. You can even have pumpkin ice cream. Is pumpkin good for you and can you eat it everyday? Absolutely.
Where to Buy Organic Pumpkin?
Try your local market for organic pumpkin. If you prefer to shop online then shop here for the best organic pumpkin delivered to your front door.
I hope you have learned all about pumpkins and if pumpkin is good for you! Please share your favorite pumpkin recipes. I would love to hear from you.