Pumpkin, pumpkin, and more pumpkin!
Fall is finally here in Maryland. And one of my favorite parts about fall is that it is the season for all things pumpkin. From the decor - to the candles - to the coffee - and to, of course, the food!
And there is good reason to incorporate more of this seasonal fruit into your diet. Both the flesh and the seeds are nutritional superstars and boast a pretty impressive nutritional profile.
Here are five health-boosting benefits of eating more pumpkin:
Pumpkin is an incredibly nutrient dense food meaning it is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. It is also one of those foods that has a higher glycemic index but a low glycemic load. This means that while it is a starchier vegetable, you don't have to worry about it raising your blood sugar.
The beautiful orange color signals the presence of the carotenoid alpha-carotene which protects against cancer and benefits skin and vision.
Pumpkin is high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C which support heart health and can help keep your ticker in tip-top shape.
Pumpkin can help strengthen your immune system thanks to the abundance of vitamins A, C, and E as well as iron and folate.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium - a mineral that nearly half of all Americans* are deficient in. And they also contain loads of zinc and essential fatty acids. (*source: Washington Post Article. "Magnesium Is Essential To Your Health, But Many People Don’t Get Enough Of It". 10 June 2017.)
To incorporate more pumpkin into your diet, try these tips:
Use pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin in recipes for baked goods as a substitute for oil or butter. Just be careful to avoid picking up the canned pumpkin pie mixes as they contain a lot of added sugar and syrups. If you use canned pumpkin, you will want to look for plain pumpkin puree where the only ingredient listed on the can is pumpkin.
Top your salad with roasted pumpkin seeds or eat them as a snack. You can roast pumpkin seeds with a variety of different seasonings to mix it up and make it fun.
Use pumpkin seeds as a crunchy coating for meat or fish.
Make a seasonal smoothie using pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin.
Clean, Healthy, and Simple Pumpkin Recipes
Want a kid-friendly pumpkin recipe? Try our family’s favorite pumpkin muffins!
Clean and Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
They are healthy, easy, and delicious and I would love to share our recipe with you. I call them Adelyn’s Favorite Pumpkin Spice Muffins because they elicit this smile from her every single time I make them. And you can’t beat that kind of happy!
Simply click the button below if you would like me to email you a copy of this recipe to print and/or save.