It’s that time of year again where you can’t go anywhere without seeing or thinking about pumpkins! Pumpkin spiced lattées, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin decorations. Well I’m certainly not complaining, not only is pumpkin a delicious addition to many of your favorite recipes, it also boasts an impressive nutrition profile. Although we don’t necessarily always associate pumpkin with the healthiest recipes…pumpkin pie anyone?! I can assure you, this squash has what it takes to be a worthy addition to a health promoting diet.
Vitamin A : Vitamin A is best known for it’s role in good vision and healthy skin, hair and immune system. All the more reason to stock up as cold and flu season approaches!
*Bonus- 1 serving covers your daily Vitamin A requirements! The recommendation for adult men is 900 micrograms (mcg)/day and 700 mcg for adult women. A 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree contains a whopping 1000 mcg
Vitamin C : This vitamin is also important for healthy skin and immune function. On top of that, Vitamin C assists in the repair of teeth and bones. Holding antioxidant powers, it may reduce risk for certain cancers and other diseases. As if that wasn’t enough, Vitamin C helps the body absorb plant sources of iron like leafy greens and legumes. Vegetarians take note!
Fiber : You all know that I’m a huge fan of fiber. I may be getting a bit repetitive by now, but it can never hurt to be reminded of the many benefits of fiber. Fiber can play a huge roll in balancing blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, keeping you regular, helping to reduce cravings and manage appetite
Don’t forget about the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium and healthy monounsaturated fats! They make a perfect snack or crunchy topping for your salads.
So embrace the falling leaves and cozy sweaters and some good seasonal eating with some of my favorite recipes below.
*To enjoy these recipes year round, canned or frozen pumpkin or other squash varieties can be used.