Updated: May 27, 2020
Eat all the pumpkin this season—it’s packed with healing nutrients!
Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, a fat-soluble vitamin that is converted in our bodies into vitamin A. A diet rich in beta-carotene has been shown to prevent cancer, protect skin and alleviate inflammation.
Pumpkin is especially beneficial for our hearts as it's contains potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure and vitamins C and E are potent antioxidants shown to reduce inflammation associated with heart disease.
Pumpkin is a good source of fiber—7 grams of fiber per cup! Most Americans get less than half the amount of fiber needed in a day (25-35 grams recommended per day), so pack on the pumpkin to bump up fiber intake. Fiber is important for fostering a healthy gut, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, alleviate depression and improve immunity.
Have you heard of a pumpkin facial? There’s a reason estheticians are using this superfood topically—for its high antioxidant content and skin healing benefits! It's high vitamin C and vitamin E content can create glowing skin.
Don’t forget the seeds! While pumpkin puree and whole pumpkins are typically found during the fall months, pumpkin seeds can be found all year long and they provide lots of health benefits too. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, a mineral that plays several roles in the body—supporting growth and development, strengthening the immune system and healing wounds. The daily recommended intake of zinc for men and women over 19 years is 11 and 8, respectively. Pumpkin seeds provide a whopping 3 milligrams of zinc per ounce!
Pumpkin seeds contain several forms of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant shown to prevent heart disease and promote skin health.
Nutrient-dense pumpkin seeds are high in other minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and copper—all essential nutrients for bone health.
Recent preliminary studies have found some evidence that pumpkin seeds in various forms may improve insulin regulation and prevent kidney dysfunction in diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds are high in lignans, which are polyphenols (plant-based compounds) that have been shown to prevent cancer, heart disease and lower cholesterol.
Need we say more?
Below are five ways to enjoy pumpkin (and its healing benefits) this season.
You'll want to put this Creamy and Warming Pumpkin Soup on your Thanksgiving menu! It's easy, delicious, soothing and will make your guests really happy because it's bursting with flavor.
Only six healing ingredients in this creamy delicious Pumpkin Cashew Cheese! Top this cheese on toast, spread it on pizza, include it in a wrap or serve it as a veggie dip.
You'll feel satisfied, nourished and happy after eating this plant-powered meal, Pumpkin Cheese Cauliflower Pizza topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, red peppers and spinach.
Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Scones are nutrient dense with the oat flour (goodbye LDL cholesterol!), pecans (plant-based protein and healing omega 3's) and spices (blood sugar control and mega phytonutrient-power...seriously, you guys—cloves are off the chart when it comes to antioxidants). These scones are perfect for breakfast or a sustainable snack to get you through the day.
Finally, these awesome, fudge-y, fiber-packed Pumpkin Spice Truffles (really energy bites, but truffles sounds more exciting, right?) recipe will get you into the spirit of Fall!