While we’re in the middle of the dog days, it has me reminiscing for the fall and winter time produce. My favorite of which is the pumpkin. This amazing fruit (yes, fruit! It’s not a vegetable!) is supremely versatile, delicious, and nutrient packed with a minimal caloric impact. I’m not quite sure why it isn’t utilized more, outside of pumpkin lattes, cookies, candles and other home decor fragrances, pies, and breads (the latter two I will feature recipes for here). I believe it’d even make a great baby food!
So what are these amazing health benefits you might ask? Well, lets see:
- Per 100g it only has 26 calories. Yet contains no saturated fats or cholesterol!
- It is high in minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E.
- One of which is Vitamin A. Per 100g of pumpkin it contains 7384mg of Vitamin A (that’s 246% of your RDA)!! What does Vitamin A do? It is an anti-oxidant needed by your body to maintain skin and mucous membrane health. It is also essential for vision and studies have shown it can help prevent lung and oral cancers.
- It’s a natural source of poly-phenolic flavonoids, aka carotene, that convert in to Vitamin A in the body. You’re gonna have the pretties skin, eyes, and mucous membranes EVER.
- Pumpkin is rich in xanthin, an anti-oxidant which has UV ray filtering properties that stay in your retina. It’ll help protect your eyes from age related macular disease later on.
- It’s a great source of B-complex vitamins, such as folates, niacin, B6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid (Pregnant Ladies: Take note!).
- Lastly, it contains the minerals copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. That benefits your organs, muscles. bones, teeth, joints, and everything in between! This doesn’t even begin to go in to the benefits of their seeds, but I’ll save that for when I find a way to prepare them that I actually like and isn’t salt-laden.