Pumpkins are more than Halloween decorations. These are low-calorie food packed with essential nutrients. Just 1 cup of cooked mashed pumpkins contains 49 calories and a great amount of vitamins and minerals.
A 1-oz serving, which is 28 grams, contains:
● Fiber – 1.7 grams
● Vitamin K – 18% of the RDI
● Phosphorous – 33% of the RDI
● Manganese – 42% of the RDI
● Magnesium – 37% of the RDI
● Carbs – 5 grams
● Protein – 7 grams
● Fat – 13 grams, 6 of which are omega-6s
● Iron – 23% of the RDI
● Zinc – 14% of the RDI
● Copper – 19% of the RDI
Pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants and a decent amount of vitamin B, potassium and folate.
The good thing is that both canned and fresh pumpkins are healthy options. Seeds are rich in many nutrients as well, only second to peanuts in protein content. They are a good source of zinc and healthy unsaturated fats, where 1 oz. contains 5 grams of fat, with 4 grams being unsaturated.
They contain alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of high cholesterol. The fiber in seeds has an important role in digestive health and it may help to lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium, necessary for more than 600 chemical reactions in the body. This is important to know because in the US around 79% of adults have a magnesium intake below the recommended daily amount. Magnesium is important for controlling blood pressure, healthy bones, reducing the risk of heart disease, and regulating blood sugar levels.
The flesh gets its orange color from beta-carotene that may help reduce cell damage in the body, improving the immune system. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A that is important nutrient for the eye health. Read the complete guide to pumpkin health benefits.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is an alternative if for any reason you do not like the flavor of pumpkins. One study that is published in the journal Climacteric found that postmenopausal women who took 2 grams of pumpkin seed oil every day for 12 weeks had reduced diastolic blood pressure.
If you still doubt that pumpkins have many healthy benefits, read about 13 reasons why you should include pumpkins in the daily diet.