Whether you love pumpkin or are already sick of seeing in your grocery’s aisles, one thing is for certain: pumpkin’s unique health benefits make it the standout fruit of the fall season.
Archaeologists discovered the oldest domesticated pumpkin traces centuries ago in the highlands of Mexico. Back then, only their seeds were consumed due to the bitterness of their flesh. Over time, though, their taste profile changed along with cultivation practices, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that pumpkins became the decorative fall icons they are today.
Enjoying just 1 cup of cooked pumpkin puree gives you over 100 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement, vital for the health of your bones and reproduction and immune systems. This is due to its high concentration of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant that gives the fruit its bright, orange color. Consumption of foods high in beta-carotene has been linked to decreased risk of development of certain cancers and even heart disease.
Pumpkin is also loaded with fiber, a digestive superstar that helps you produce waste, which, in turn, helps you eliminate toxins and absorb important nutrients. It helps maintain blood sugar and energy levels, slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream and also keeps you satiated – so you aren’t left hungry and reaching for that unhealthy afternoon snack.
Wondering how to incorporate more pumpkin into your diet? Pumpkin is easy to roast – simply dice, deseed, dress in olive oil and your favorite spices, and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 25 minutes. Canned pumpkin is also great and much more convenient to use, just be sure to buy 100 percent pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filing, which can be full of artificial flavors, sweet syrups and additives.
Once you’ve got your pumpkin ready to go, add ½ cup to your favorite Blast or bake into a beautiful, delicious pie for a healthy treat that will do your body good!
Looking for pumpkin recipes? Try these for an awesome holiday treat!