It’s finally that romantic, delicious time of year for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pies, and not to mention roasted butternut squash that goes oh so well with your meat dishes for family dinners.
Let’s not forget the most autumn-licious comfort food there is – creamy, dense, flavorful pumpkin soup. These orange dishes and sips are all examples of what fall should smell and taste like.
Yet few people know just how healthy this earthy, sweet squash plant is. Here are a few notable reasons to load up on pumpkins this fall and make your feasts as orange as possible!
A nutrient-dense, versatile option
The nutrient profile of this vibrant plant is quite impressive. A cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with plenty of vitamin A, E, C, and B12, with 3g of fiber, 2g of protein, and only 0.2g of fat. It’s also loaded with potassium, manganese, iron, and copper, making it a truly rich source of invaluable vitamins and minerals.
So nutritious and easy to prepare in many different forms, pumpkin is a great addition to your healthy lifestyle and for elevating your energy with food. You can cook it, mash it into a soup or puree, roast it, or make a pie with it. You can add it to your smoothies or salads, and you can always eat pumpkin seeds, too. You’ll never run out of tasty, creative ways to eat it!
Helps with disease prevention
All the nutrients we’ve mentioned, as well as the high content of beta-carotene and antioxidants found in this orange fall queen help your body ward off chronic ailments of all sorts. As their name states, antioxidants neutralize the impact of oxidative stress on your body caused by free radicals. That means reducing the risk of skin damage, eye diseases, all the way to various forms of cancer.
Of course, keep in mind that to be truly healthy and to maximize the impact on food on your health, you should always opt for versatile seasonal and local foods in your menu. Pumpkin alone cannot do all the work, so it’s up to you to keep your menu colorful.
Supports your immune system
Chronic illnesses aren’t the only type your body needs to fight. As the pandemic has shown us, we also need to prime our bodies to fend off viral and bacterial infections, too, as well as minimize their acute impact on our wellbeing. That often calls for dietary reinforcements such as the Fab 4 bundle with vitamin D, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics.
Consuming pumpkin regularly helps improve your immune system functions and serves as another source of immune support. All the powerful vitamins, minerals, as well as the fiber contribute to boosting your natural defenses.
Low in calories and ideal for weight management
In addition to all the goodies packed in a single cup of pumpkin, you’ll also be surprised to learn that the same cup contains very few calories – around 49 calories only. The high nutrient content makes it very satiating, so if you combine it with other veggies and protein sources, you’ll feel full for hours on end.
This helps people who are struggling with weight loss and weight management, as well as people who lead busy lives and need healthy, long-lasting sustenance. Since it contains 12g of carbs, it’s wise to moderate your pumpkin intake, just to make sure you’re not overdoing your carbs!
Keeps your gut and heart healthy
On one hand, the diverse nutrients found in pumpkins help you keep your diet wholesome and complete, which contributes to your gut and microbiota health. Since your gut plays such a vital role in immune strength and disease prevention, that is another way in which good food like your humble pumpkin prevents health troubles.
On the other hand, the vitamin and mineral profile of pumpkins is excellent for your cardiovascular wellbeing. It keeps your blood pressure under control, and protects your body against LDL cholesterol, and all that means that your heart muscle will be stronger and more impervious to health issues.
As you’re setting up your fall feast menus and preparing for the holiday season, consider adding this wonderful, nutritious ingredient to your dishes. It will help you improve your lifestyle and keep your immune system stronger for the flu season. If you find yourself needing some help and guidance adapting your habits to live better and stay resilient, schedule an appointment with us when you’re ready, and we’ll get started on a tailored plan just for you!