Feeling “basic"? It’s okay, it’s fall! - by Jocelyn Sidwell
Why pumpkin is so good for us.
Tis the season for pumpkin in, well, everything. Hidden calories in those lattes, beers, and pies make pumpkin forgettable as a nutrient-dense fruit. Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and it’s low in calories. Here is some reason why you can be proud to eat this seasonal favorite.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for clear vision, strong lungs, and cardiovascular health. Vitamin A is a key player in reduces joint pain and arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. The US Food and Drug Administration states that adults and children ages 4 and older should intake a daily value of 5,000 IU. Pumpkin puree has roughly 12,200 IU, so you set for the day. That is 245% your daily allowance!
We all know vitamin C is a go-to for a healthy immune system but vitamin C is also excellent for the skin. According to WebMD, Vitamin C is key in the production of collagen, which is a protein that gives the skin its firmness and strength. Pumpkin puree has 11.5 mg per cup. That is 19% of your daily allowance.
Potassium is a necessary mineral for our bodies to operate properly. It is a type of electrolyte that breaks down and uses carbohydrates and builds muscle. One cup of pumpkin puree has 564 mg of potassium. Bananas only have 422 mg according to the USDA.
Fiber aids in maintaining a healthy digestion system, which is so important for overall health. The fiber in our daily diets can also lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight. We all here, eat more fiber. Well, luckily pumpkin has about 3g in one cup of pumpkin puree. That’s right at 11% of our daily value.
We all want the feel-good foods but don’t want the added calories. There are only 49 calories in a cup of pumpkin puree. Just be smart about what you add to the puree. A few dashes of cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup topped with granola is a great alternative to the calorie filled desserts.
When you are shopping for pumpkin look for 100% pumpkin no salt added. The pumpkin pie filling in the can isn’t the same. Better yet, head to your local farmers market and pick up a pumpkin and cook it. Not only will you have tons of pumpkin to make in healthy recipes but roasting the seeds are an added bonus.