I don't typically focus entire blog posts on a single food... but let's be real: pumpkin is a season! So, I wanted to give you all the rundown: health benefits of pumpkin, things to be aware of that may negate those benefits, and some fun ways to incorporate pumpkin this Fall - be sure to check out my FREE pumpkin recipe e-book!
So what is pumpkin? As you may know, it is a winter squash. Here are some of its benefits:
Boosting eye health - you probably heard as a child that you should eat carrots to help keep your eyes healthy. The nutrient that actually helps to protect your eyes is Vitamin A. Our bodies are able to create Vitamin A from an antioxidant called beta-carotene - the bright orange color of the pumpkin is an indicator of the presence of this nutrient.
Reduces inflammation - Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and protect against free-radicals, which damage cells and can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer. Other antioxidants that are found in pumpkin are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Immune health - if there is anything that we are focused on in 2020, it is boosting our immune health. Luckily for us, our pumpkin craze can help us to accomplish that goal! High in Vitamin C, Vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, and Vitamin E as well as iron and folate, pumpkin is a good choice to include when working to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Healthy Skin - beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C all boast great skin benefits. In fact, you may have even heard of or seen pumpkin facial masks! Click here for a great pumpkin face mask DIY. (note: just use 1/2C canned pumpkin vs. messing with pureeing your own.)
All my Low FODMAP friends: about 1/3C canned pumpkin is considered low FODMAP according to Monash. Check out this blog post on Fodmap Everyday to read more details.
Pumpkin watch-out: many store and restaurant versions of pumpkin recipes are LOADED with sugar. Watch your sugar intake - it can completely offset all of the wonderful nutrition benefits of pumpkin! Solution? Check out my FREE recipe e-book below - enjoy your pumpkin this Fall season while also making progress on your health goals.