Pumpkin Nutrition Benefits

There’s a plethora of reasons to eat pumpkin besides the obvious being that it’s absolutely delicious.

Pumpkin, a member of the Cucurbitaceae (or gourd) family, is low in calories yet extremely nutrient dense.

While being a provider of essential vitamins, pumpkin also has an extremely low glycemic index… before it’s turned into pie that is!

So, save one of your pumpkins from being carved this Halloween and try something new like these easy meal-prep friendly Pumpkin Spice Oat Jars or this delicious Pumpkin Skillet.


Vitamin A

Although vitamin A isn’t unusual to find in produce, it is very beneficial.

Vitamin A is a major player in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, skin and is a powerful antioxidant1!

Its antioxidant properties make consumption of vitamin A a great natural approach to slowing the aging process and reducing inflammation.

Just 1 cup of pumpkin can provide you with a whopping 171% of your daily value of this precious vitamin2!

Vitamin C

Because the human body can’t produce or store this powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is one of the five most popular supplements taken by American adults3.

But, why take a supplement when eating 1 delicious cup of pumpkin can provide you with 17% of your daily value2?

Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen which is responsible for forming healthy skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.

Ongoing research is also finding that the elimination of free radicals by vitamin C might prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a role4.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Folate is one of the most notable members of the B-vitamin complex. Due to its role in fetal development, this vitamin is famed for being crucial in pregnancy.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN says that this speaks volume of its importance5.

Folate’s primary job is to make new cells, specifically by copying and synthesizing DNA6.

Studies show that a diet high in folate-rich foods can help prevent cancer, heart disease, birth defects, anemia and cognitive decline.

1 cup of pumpkin contains 5% of your daily value of folate2.

Calcium

Calcium is a bone-building nutrient that is vital to the body. However like vitamin C our bodies can’t produce it.

For this reason, calcium is commonly attained through the diet and supplements. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this nutrient can also be found at the top of the list of supplements taken by American adults3.

A 1-cup serving of pumpkin fulfills 2% of your daily value of calcium so go ahead and load up on it2!

Magnesium

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 was the most recent survey to document American magnesium levels. It found that most Americans ingested less than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of the nutrient.

Magnesium is used by the body to regulate protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation7.

Pumpkin contains 3% of your daily value of this nutrient2.

Potassium

Potassium is a very important electrolyte.

It helps the body build proteins and muscle, maintain growth, utilize carbohydrates, balance acid levels and control the heart’s electrical activity8.

One cup of pumpkin can fulfill 11% of your daily value2.

Phosphorus

The second most abundant element in our bodies, phosphorus is an essential mineral involved in hundreds of cellular activities.

The brain, heart, kidneys and liver all rely on it for proper functioning!

It helps the body balance hormones, utilize nutrients, keeps its metabolism running smoothly while boosting energy levels9.

Get 5% of your daily value from a single-cup serving of pumpkin2.

As you’ve probably heard, healthy fats are all the rage!

Why? As SELF magazine says omega-3s are essential for brain function, cell growth and heart health.

The main sources of this healthy fat are fish and nuts but our fall-favorite pumpkin serves up 3.5mg of omega 3 fatty acids in just 1 cup!


Sources
[1] Dr. Axe | Vitamin A: Benefits, Sources & Side Effects
[2] SELF Nutrition Data
[3] Council for Responsible Nutrition 2016 Annual Survey on Dietary Supplements
[4] Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74.
[5] Health Magazine | October 2017 Isuue
[6] Dr. Axe | Top 10 High Folate Foods
[7] National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
[8] U.S. National Library of Medicine
[9] Dr. Axe | Foods High in Phosphorus Help Your Body Detox & Strengthen

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