When Halloween approaches, pumpkins are everywhere – at the market, on your front step, in decorations.
Another place they should be? On your plate!
Pumpkins are one of the most versatile vegetables around. There is so much more to do with them than just making traditional pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin is not only tasty but also packed with nutrition.
One cup of cooked pumpkin has 3 grams of fiber, no fat or cholesterol, and only 49 calories.
Pumpkin gets its orange color from being rich in the antioxidant beta carotene, and pumpkin gives you 245% of your daily dose of vitamin A from a one-cup serving! Pumpkin also contains vitamins C and E, potassium, calcium, iron and lutein.
Here’s what else pumpkin has to offer:
Pumpkins seeds are their own nutritional powerhouses, being high in:
Pumpkin seeds are also high in calories, though – a half cup contains nearly 400 calories -- so don’t overdo it!
Research studies have documented some of the health benefits of pumpkin seeds, especially for men. For example:
When choosing a pumpkin for cooking, make sure you pick a pie pumpkin. These are smaller and sweeter than carving pumpkins.
Canned pumpkin can be used in recipes that call for pumpkin puree.
If using fresh pumpkin, save the seeds and roast them yourself – see our recipe below.
Visit our Healthiest Best Foods homepage for more great ideas to get you and your family eating healthier.