Now that fall is in the air, food and beverage trends have segued from tropical summery concoctions to spicy favourites that always seem to feature pumpkin.
The popular orange vine fruit that’s a designated superfood is great as long as you don’t ingest it in fat and calorie-laden muffins, pies, cakes or sugary lattes.
And if you’re still not sure whether to eat or drink pumpkin products before or after pumping weights, read on to learn five benefits of the round darling of the cooler season.
- One hundred grams of pumpkin has just 26 calories and no saturated fat or cholesterol. Better yet, it’s loaded with dietary fibre that helps keep you feeling full longer.
- Pumpkins are very low in calories and packed with health boosting vitamin A, which is great for the skin, mucus and for good eyesight. They also pack a powerful punch in the Vitamin C and Vitamin E departments, and are loaded with minerals and antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, and carotene.
- The seeds found inside a pumpkin are also a great source of fibre, as well as the good fat that benefits healthy heart function. While 100g of pumpkin seeds have no cholesterol, they offer 30g of protein and are loaded with iron.
- A member of the squash family, pumpkins can be used in everything from smoothies, soups, stews, chili, or fresh pumpkin puree can be mixed in with hummus or oatmeal to pack a powerful punch of fiber, vitamins and taste.
- Eating pumpkin can help you sleep better, boost your vision, lower blood pressure and have a healthier heart. And with its beta-carotene offerings, an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer according to the National Cancer Institute, pumpkin and its orange friends sweet potatoes, carrots and squash, may help protect against some cancers.
Finally, did you know that while most pumpkins boast an orange outer skin, some varieties have white, brown, green or even red skins?
So go get a pumpkin or two and start roasting, steaming, pureeing and blending your way to improved health.