Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that is commonly seen around fall and winter. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, hello. The crisp air and a sweater with a pumpkin spice latte are just magical.
Interestingly, a pumpkin is a fruit, it contains seeds, not a vegetable. But beyond its utility to make pumpkin spice lattes, it has a lot of nutritious health benefits.
Let’s explore 5 of them.
Pumpkin is rich in Vitamins.
But it is low in calories, so it has a lot of bang for the buck. It promotes weight loss due to it being high in nutrients but low in calories.
It is also high in carotenoid which is essential for vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for eye health.
Loaded with Fiber
There are 2.7 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber is helpful for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), regulating blood sugars, and help you feel full longer. This also helps feed the gut microbiome and promote a healthy gut.
It also makes it a great food for weight loss. It is 50 calories per cup and high water content. It is rich in fiber which will curb appetites and help with regular bowels. In fact, increasing your daily fiber by 10 grams will result in a 3-4 % belly fat reduction.
Good for Your Skin
Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that will benefit your skin. Not only does it contain carotenoids like beta-carotene that:
- -are natural sun blockers.
- -protect against cell damage to the skin cells.
- -are rich in vitamin C that aids in making collagen.
- -contain antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin E.
Your liver will convert vitamin A into retinol which boosts collagen. Collagen is what makes our skin plump and flexible. Adequate collagen reduces wrinkles and gives skin its youthful glow. Check out the pumpkin scrub at the end f the post.
Pumpkin seeds are good for PCOS.
Pumpkin seeds called “pepitas” are especially good for women with PCOS. The seeds are especially nutrient-rich. They contain vital nutrients like zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron. They are a powerhouse food.
Zinc is used for the treatment of androgenic alopecia.
They also provide a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, protein, vitamins A and B. And it is low in calories which promotes weight loss.
Lastly, they contain beta-sitosterol which is a plant sterol that reduces cholesterol and boosts immunity.
In summary, pumpkin seeds can help PCOS by:
- -improving cholesterol.
- -boosting immunity.
- -balancing blood sugars.
- -decreasing androgens to reverse hirsutism.
Pumpkin seeds are great for cycle syncing to boost fertility and regulate your cycles naturally. Cycle syncing can be great if you are looking for painless, and normal periods.
Luckily, they are easy to add to your routine. If you buy them make sure they are not salted. The best is to make your own. To do so, scoop the seeds from the pumpkin and let them dry. Then add olive oil and spices, and roast at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or golden brown.
May lower your risk of chronic diseases.
The carotenoids in pumpkin fight free radicals and function as anti-oxidants. Studies have shown that those that have higher intakes of carotenoids have decreased risks of cancers such as breast, throat, pancreas, and stomach cancers.
Antioxidants may also lower your risk of heart attack and stroke and decrease your LDL cholesterol levels.
3 creative ways to use
Here are some recipes I love using pumpkin.
?SPICY PUMPKIN HUMMUS
⭐This hummus recipe makes a great dip, snack, or it can be used as a surprisingly yummy condiment on top of burgers or whatever else comes to mind!
- 1 cup (240 grams) canned pumpkin puree
- 1 15-oz (425 gram) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Juice of half a large lemon
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1-2 dashes of hot sauce or sriracha (to taste)
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika, plus extra for serving
- Kosher salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve & enjoy!
?SPICY PUMPKIN SEEDS
The seeds are edible and easy to add to recipes like granola, oatmeal, or just eat them plain. I love adding them as toppings to my breakfast or curry dishes.
The best is to make your own. To do so, scoop the seeds from the pumpkin and let them dry. Then add olive oil and spices, and roast at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or golden brown.
?PUMPKIN SUGAR SCRUB
1 cup of organic brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 Tablespoon Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (great antioxidant and goes on smooth), could use olive oil or almond oil instead
I love adding a little pumpkin seed oil, it makes your skin so soft and plump. Just a few drops. .
If you love pumpkin, my favorite face serum with wonderful anti-aging properties is made from Primally Pure.