As overwhelming as it may seem, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because there are so many health benefits of eating pumpkin.
Of course, in order to get the benefits of pumpkin, you have to be eating real pumpkin, so your favorite coffee flavorings probably don’t count.
But real pumpkin will give you these benefits and more, year-round.
1. Protect your eyesight. You know how carrots are good for your eyes? Well, the same carotenoids that give carrots their bright orange color – and that are so good for your eyesight – are the same ones that give pumpkins their bright orange color. Pumpkins are packed with the best antioxidants for protecting your vision and keeping your eyes healthy.
2. Protect your skin. One of our favorite benefits of eating pumpkin is especially important in winter, just when they are most readily available! And it comes from those same carotenoids. They’re powerful antioxidants that work from within to keep your skin smooth, supple, and wrinkle-free.
3. Promote heart health. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of pumpkin is how good it is for your heart and cardiovascular system. Pumpkin’s high levels of potassium help maintain a healthy blood pressure, which goes a long way to protecting against heart attack and stroke. Plus, the seeds can help with cholesterol levels, adding another layer of cardio health to the benefits of eating pumpkin!
4. Support muscle health. The same potassium that helps promote heart health also supports muscle health. See, your muscles need potassium to function properly and to heal up after you exercise. Without enough potassium, you’re at risk for cramping and muscle spasms. But another one of the benefits of eating pumpkin is muscles that don’t just keep you strong, but that are strong themselves.
5. Stay healthier with a healthy immune system. Since pumpkin is full of vitamin C and beta carotene, they have the nutrients you need to help boost your immune system all winter long.
6. Fiber, fiber, fiber. If you call it a single benefit of pumpkin or several, the high fiber content in this fruit counts. First, it can help with weight loss. Fiber helps keep you feeling fuller, longer. Then, it can help with digestion, because fiber is a key component in processing your food. Finally, fiber keeps you regular. From start to finish, pumpkin supports digestive health.
Healthy AND Delicious
In spite of all the benefits of eating pumpkin, most of us don’t know more than the holiday pumpkin pie and the occasional pumpkin doughnut.
But pumpkins are so much more than those! To get more pumpkin into your diet, try these three recipes.
They’re healthy, delicious, and we even upped their nutritional values by adding BenVia Gold chia seed!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Not just for kids, these crunchy treats go great in salads or just by themselves.
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Ground BenVia Gold chia seeds
Directions: Preheat oven to 350*. Spray raw pumpkin seeds lightly with olive oil. Toss with BenVia Gold. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake approximately seven minutes. Stir. Bake another seven minutes, or until crispy and light brown. Let cool completely before eating. Store in an air tight container (if you have any leftover!).
These mini loaves are perfect for gift giving during the holiday season!
1¼ c. white whole wheat flour (note: if you can’t find white whole wheat flour, you can use ¼ c whole wheat flour and 1 c all-purpose flour instead)
½ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. whole BenVia Gold chia seeds
1 ½ pumpkin puree
¼ c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray two mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Beat sugars, egg, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Once sugar mixture is combined, beat in pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly beat flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat in BenVia Gold. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the tops of the loaves are light brown.
Pumpkin (purchase pre-cubed in the produce section of the grocery store)
Butternut squash (same)
Whole BenVia Gold chia seeds
Directions: Preheat oven to 450*. Cube sweet potato to same size as pumpkin. Toss in olive oil, seasonings, and BenVia Gold. Cook for 15 minutes. Stir. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-soft and brown at the edges.
With delicious taste and amazing benefits, it just makes sense to eat pumpkin this autumn – and all year long!