Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin latte…my oh my! While pumpkin-flavored treats can be filled with sugar and calories, eating a cup of freshly cooked pumpkin has numerous health benefits. In addition to being low calorie and low fat, a cup of pumpkin has zero cholesterol. A range of other valuable vitamins and nutrients in pumpkins includes:
- Nearly 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
- 100 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A
- 20 percent of the RDI for vitamin C
- Up to 10 percent of the RDI for vitamin E, potassium, iron, magnesium, and more
Similar to carrots, the orange color isn’t for naught either. The color indicates that pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, a nutrient that may ward off certain types of cancer and delay age-related degeneration.
As with most plant foods, pumpkin can also help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your heart healthy, and control or prevent diabetes.
Finally, don’t forget the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds can support smoother digestive functioning and are great as a nutritional midday or late night snack.