Pumpkins: Fall Decoration or Fantastic Superfood?

October 02, 2023


Fall brings with it the glorious season of pumpkins, but while many associate pumpkins with Halloween decorations and Thanksgiving pies, their advantages extend far beyond that. Incorporating this nutritious food into your diet can provide you with unexpected health benefits, like energy and nourishment.

Related Blog: Fall Favorite: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe 

What Makes Pumpkins So Healthy?

While many assume that pumpkins are a vegetable, they’re actually considered a fruit and pack an abundance of essential nutrients that also classify them as a superfood. A member of the squash family, pumpkins are nutrient dense and come in dozens of varieties that all boast many of the same health benefits and nutritional properties.

Pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of vitamins C, E, and B6, and minerals like potassium, manganese, and iron. However, the pumpkin's superpower lies in its vault of vitamin A. Just one serving of pumpkin accounts for 209% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A. This is because the pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which naturally converts to vitamin A in our bodies, providing you with an excellent immunity boost.

Adding Pumpkin to Your Diet

There are many benefits to incorporating pumpkin into your diet:

  • Pumpkins are a low-calorie food with a high nutritional value
  • Pumpkins are a great source of fiber, which can contribute to weight loss
  • The high beta-carotene content found in pumpkins may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration
  • Pumpkins boost your vision and can protect you from certain eye-related diseases
  • The consumption of vitamin A, which is plentiful in pumpkin, promotes healthy and clear skin

Adding pumpkin to your diet will give you a boost of nutrition, and it’s subtle taste can be adapted and incorporated into a number of different recipes. Since eating pumpkin pie every day may not be sustainable for your health, it’s good to know that there are many creative and healthy ways to add pumpkin to your daily diet.

Boost Your Smoothie

Move over pumpkin spice lattes; we’re making pumpkin smoothies. Try adding pumpkin purée and a pinch of your favorite seasonal spices to your morning smoothie for a refreshing and tasty fall-inspired treat.

Replace Oil with Pumpkin in Baked Goods

A clever way to reduce the calories and improve the nutritional benefits of your favorite baked goods is to swap out the oil for pumpkin purée. From pumpkin pancakes to cookies, breads, and muffins, enjoy more flavor and less guilt with this easy substitution.

Don't Forget the Seeds

Take advantage of the entire pumpkin and remove the seeds to roast in your oven for a low-calorie and crunchy snack or a topping for your favorite soup and salad. Play with different combinations of spices and condiments to create sweet or savory flavor profiles.

Soups & Stews

Pumpkin makes a great addition to many fall stews and soups. Pair it with a protein, such as chicken, beef, or lentils, to create a hearty and nutritious meal for you and your family or friends.

Pumpkin Pro Tip: Canned pumpkin may be hard to find during the fall season due to it being such a hot commodity. Consider making your own for a healthier alternative. If you own a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker, it’s a simple process, and just one pumpkin can yield a significant amount of pumpkin purée. 

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