Welcome to Pumpkin Week

Smiling pumpkin

Last week I had 2 pumpkin-themed articles posted and a third in draft when I realized that 3 is enough for a themed week. And so, I pulled and rescheduled the two posted articles and scheduled the third. Welcome to Day 1, where I show you why you need more pumpkin in your life.

1. Pumpkin is loaded with Vitamin A for overall health

Pumpkin has 245% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light, and helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin.

2. Pumpkin pulp has large amounts of carotenoids

Carotenoids are pigments. They're why pumpkins are orange. Carotenoids, found in plant foods, can turn into a form of vitamin A. There are more than 500 known carotenoids. One such carotenoid is beta-carotene, an antioxidant.  Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to certain chronic diseases and play a role in the aging processes. Food sources of carotenoids such as beta-carotene may reduce the risk for cancer. Beta-carotene protects cholesterol from oxidation, which assists in the prevention of heart disease and it is anti-inflammatory.

Sources: National Institutes of HealthScience Direct & Julie Daniluk.

3. Pumpkin is high in potassium

In an article published in The Huffington Post three years ago Sarah Klein pointed to potassium's post-workout benefits:

Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature's energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana's 422.

A little extra potassium helps restore the body's balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

Furthermore, potassium helps the body hold onto calcium, decreasing the loss of calcium through urine.

See also  The Old Collagen Try

Sources: Julie Daniluk, LIVESTRONG, The Journal of Nutrition,

4. Pumpkin is easy to digest

Julie Daniluk points out that pumpkin is one of the first foods introduced to babies because of its ease of digestion (source link above). It's also recommended for dogs with an upset stomach.
(I forget about this every time my dog's stomach is upset even though I've had this knowledge for a long time)

5. Pumpkin is a good source fiber

1 cup of mashed pumpkin has 11% of your daily recommended fiber intake. This is good for digestion (see #4), helps keep you regular (pooping) and will help keep you full. Remember this when you read my new two blog posts. Tomorrow you'll get 2 recipes for pumpkin lattes – with real pumpkin – and on Wednesday you'll get pumpkin smoothie recipes.

6. Vitamin C

19 % of your daily recommended vitamin C intake might not seem like a lot, but it's definitely a benefit. Vitamin C is good for the immune system. On Thursday, I'll post a pumpkin soup recipe. The soup will be nourishing, warming and comforting whether you're warding off a cold or not.

Enjoy Pumpkin Week!