Health Benefits Of Pumpkins

Pumpkin Doctor

By Suzanne Kvilhaug

It’s like I need a reminder every fall that pumpkin is edible. Anyone else? I’ve always felt like pumpkins have a sticker on the bottom that read “for decorative purposes only”. When I start to see pumpkins in stores and appearing on front steps, I just see a clear message that summer is over. Womp Womp! I’m a summer girl at heart so it’s never exactly welcoming when pumpkins start showing up and it always feels pretty abrupt. Even though pumpkin spice lattes are the ‘it’ drink come September, it never occurs to me that I can add pumpkins to my grocery list. 

But nope, pumpkins are not merely decorations or a gimmick to get more coffee sales. Pumpkins are a real food and actually really good for you. And pumpkins are much more than just an orange plant thingy. They are a type of squash and according to the Farmer’s Almanac they’re a fruit. Some people may even classify them as a superfood because of their nutritional profile. 

Reasons to add pumpkin into your diet?

Many! They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. One cup of mashed pumpkin contains only 49 calories and has approximately 2.7 grams of dietary fiber. Nutritionally, one cup of pumpkin contains 245 percent of daily recommended vitamin A, 19 percent of vitamin C, 16 percent of potassium, and 11 percent of magnesium. Nutrients in pumpkins can have positive effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular health, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion and promote gut health.

Leftover pumpkin?

Don’t toss out the seeds! When removed from the flesh of a pumpkin, pumpkin seeds are a really healthy and convenient snack. They are a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper. If you find them a little plain, roasting pumpkin seeds is pretty easy and makes for a unique, flavorful and plant-based snack. 

Prepare It!

As for how to peel and prepare a pumpkin in order to eat it, check this helpful guide out. If you are having something that calls for pumpkin puree and rather skip the canned pumpkin, here is a way to make pumpkin puree at home.

Now you’re sold on pumpkin (squash goals!) but you’re not really sure how to eat it. Surprisingly, the options are endless. Here are 10 great ways to eat pumpkin: