It’s the time of year when pumpkins are found in abundance. Popular during the fall as decorative jack-o-lanterns and main ingredients in pies, pumpkins could also be considered one of many top natural food products. The flesh and seeds of pumpkins are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Pumpkin is one of nature’s riches sources of alpha-carotene, a carotenoid that converts to retinol, a form of vitamin A. This vitamin promotes healthy vision and immune health. Alpha-carotene is considered an anti-aging nutrient for good skin health because it jump-starts the skin cell renewal process and increases the production of collagen for youthful, smooth skin. Another carotenoid in pumpkin, beta-carotene, also promotes skin health.
Vitamins C and E are also found in pumpkin. Vitamin C is well-known for strengthening the immune system, but it also promotes cardiovascular health. Along with carotenoids found in pumpkin, Vitamin E also promotes healthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage.
Pumpkins are also a good natural source of fiber. Just a half-cup of pumpkin gives you 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps promote good digestion and gastrointestinal health. It also supports weight loss, cardiovascular health and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range.
In addition, this fall favorite contains other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Potassium, magnesium and vitamin B5 are all found in pumpkin flesh.
Don’t throw out the seeds the next time you’re working with pumpkin. Eating organic pumpkin seeds deliver several essential nutrients to your body. They are a natural source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and essential fatty acids. If you don’t feel like slicing up pumpkin to get to the seeds, try these.
It’s easy and delicious to include pumpkins in baked goods. And while you can only find fresh pumpkins in the fall, you can just puree and freeze them to use throughout the year. Canned pumpkin is also a good alternative because it’s just as nutritious as fresh.
But pumpkin isn't limited to just baked goods – pumpkin seeds are a great snack, salad topping or addition to vegetable dishes. Our Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil is another alternative that can be used in cooking and salad dressings. So when you’re carving your jack-o-lantern this Halloween, don’t toss the insides and seeds away – save them for a yummy and nutritious treat.