Who doesn’t love pumpkin? I mean we got the classic pumpkin pie and the famous Pumpkin spice latte (I’m drinking a homemade pumpkin spice latte with real pumpkin puree as I write this) there are cookies, bread, soup, roasted pumpkin seeds and so much more…
Is pumpkin something you should be eating more of? And if so, how should you go about eating it? Here’s what you should know.
Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
50 calories per 1 cup
1.8 grams protein
12 grams carbohydrates
2.7 grams dietary fiber
Vitamin A – 703 Micrograms per 1 cup ( that’s 78% the (DV) daily value )
Vitamin C – 13% per 1 cup
Potassium – 12% (DV) per 1 cup
Zinc – 5% of (DV) per 1 cup
Dont forget the seeds!
The seeds are edible and oh so yummy. You can make them yourself. The seeds offer a lot of benefits. The seeds are rich in antioxidants and contain many minerals the body needs for optimal health. These seeds are rich in fiber and magnesium which is great for your health.
There are studies that say consuming pumpkin can promote better heart health with lower blood pressure. Pumpkins help and promote better health such as:
- Reduce diastolic blood pressure
- Increase “good” cholesterol levels
- Decrease menopausal symptoms
- Decrease diabetes complications
- Treat an overactive bladder
- Protect your eye health
- Combat fertility issues
Your not going to loss a ton of weight eating pumpkin but it could help you slim down due to their low calorie density and fiber content. A fiber rich diet can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Fiber fills you up, so you’ll likely stay satisfied longer and may eat less as a result.
Be careful what you consume. Oftentimes pumpkin flavoring is added to unhealthy foods and drinks. These items may not ever contain any real pumpkin, which defeats the purpose and benefits of consuming real pumpkin.
Selection and Use
For Carving – The most popular use of pumpkins is for decoration as jack-o-lanterns. When selecting a pumpkin for cooking, the best selection is a “pie pumpkin” or “sweet pumpkin.” These are smaller than the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins and the flesh is sweeter and less watery. However, you can substitute the jack-o-lantern variety with fairly good results.
For Eating – Look for a pumpkin with 1 to 2 inches of stem left. If the stem is cut down too low the pumpkin will decay quickly or may be decaying at the time of purchase. Avoid pumpkins with blemishes and soft spots. It should be heavy, shape is unimportant. A lopsided pumpkin is not necessarily a bad pumpkin. Figure one pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin for each cup finished pumpkin puree. You can also treat the whole pumpkin like you would any other squash. Try roasting on parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes with a little oil and salt on it.
Side Effects of Pumpkin
There are not any notable side effects but to be on the safe side you could always consult your doctor or health care privider.
Pumpkins are everywhere in the fall, they make nutritious and delicious additions to your fall menu. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and magnesium. Enjoy it in many ways. Just beware of pumpkin spice treats – they tend to be overly sweetened and missing the real deal pumpkin.