Move over, Charlie Brown, it’s time to give new meaning to the term “The Great Pumpkin!”
This stunning squash is more than just a jack-o-lantern, the pumpkin is a superfood too thanks to some impressive health benefits.
Pumpkins are nutrient-dense while generally being low in calories. Here are some reasons why pumpkin is one of the best fruits of the season. (Yes, pumpkins are fruit and not vegetables!)
1. Pumpkins are good for your vision and eye health.
Pumpkins are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps support the health of your retina and cornea which in turn sharpens your vision and allows you to see more clearly in low light.
Pumpkins are also high in vitamin C, which reduces your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts as you age.
It goes without saying that pumpkin pie is the quintessential staple of the season. Switch it up by trying this recipe that is naturally sweetened with maple syrup.
2. Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack or topping.
If you’re looking for a tasty treat that travels well, don’t toss those pumpkin seeds!
First, separate them from the rest of the gourd’s gloopy innards. Then, you can clean, spice, and roast them for a protein-packed snack. There are 6 grams of protein per ½ of pumpkin seeds.
Add them to soup, salad, oatmeal, or yogurt for a little bit of crunch.
The health benefits of pumpkin seeds include a reduced risk of cancer, improved bowel and prostate health, and a lower risk of heart disease.
3. Pumpkins are a heart-healthy food.
Pumpkins are rich in potassium, which can help regulate your blood pressure, lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which can help prevent heart disease.
4. Pumpkins can boost your immunity.
Adding pumpkin to your diet can help ramp up your immune system as we head into cold and flu season. Pumpkins contain vitamins C and E, beta carotene, folate, and iron, all of which support a healthy immune system.
These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins are a great way to start the day – and they’re an instant winner with grandkids.
5. Pumpkin can help keep you full longer.
Pumpkins are a good source of fiber, but low in calories. Eating pumpkin may help you feel full without increasing your overall food intake.
The best way to reap the health benefits of this seasonal superfood is to avoid the artificially flavored pumpkin treats and instead go for the real deal.
Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin is a great way to take advantage of all the great benefits – no baking, carving or deseeding required.
Try a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte or make plans to attend one of the Senior Star Mixology Experiences.
Get in touch with your Senior Star location to find out what’s available in your local community and how to participate. You can also reach out for monthly recipes and other fun ideas.
Contact us to learn more.