Welcome to this week’s Pumpkin Spotlight! Tis the season.
Pumpkin has a few different health benefits that we haven’t touched on already with our other vegetable spotlights.
- Pumpkin helps with your vision because of the amount of beta-carotene it has that the body converts into Vitamin A. 1 cup of pumpkin has over 200% of your daily requirement for Vitamin A. This helps your retinas absorb and process light. Beta-carotene is what gives orange fruits and vegetables their color.
- Pumpkin seeds actually help you sleep better. They have the amino acid tryptophan that helps you to sleep. it also helps in the production of serotonin that helps with your mood and relaxation. If you’re having a bad day, try a handful of pumpkin seeds!
- Beta-carotene can also help keep your skin looking younger because it helps protect us from the sun’s UV rays that can cause wrinkles.
- Pumpkin helps with your immune system. And this time of year, that’s a really good thing! The large amount of Vitamin A can help fight infections along with Vitamin C. It also contains iron that helps support and strong immune system (43% of daily requirements needed for men, 20% needed for women).
- Eating pumpkin may help with weight loss because it keeps you feeling fuller longer due to the amount of fiber which slows digestion while being low in calories.
- One cup of pumpkin contains 49 calories, 1.76 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and 12 grams of Carbs (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar).
- Consuming one cup of pumpkin would provide 200% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value for vitamin C, 10% or more for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, calcium manganese, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Pumpkin belongs to the same family as cucumber, squash, and melons. A large pumpkin usually ways 15-25 lbs, but they can be grown to be quite big depending on the variety (and I suspect depending on what’s added to them while they’re grown). Gene McMuller from Illinois recently broke records this past September for North America by growing a 2,145 lb pumpkin.
And I don’t need to talk about all the ways you can cook pumpkin.. everything seems to come in a pumpkin flavor this time of year.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s pumpkin spotlight! by again on Saturday to check out the pumpkin dessert recipe!