How many of us dive into a good ole dish of pumpkin on the regular? Sadly, unless it comes in the form of a pie or latte in early November, the majority of us are probably not! Unfortunately, that means we are missing out on the health benefits of pumpkin, one of autumn’s most popular fruits!
According to CNN Health, pumpkin offers us plenty of health benefits including aiding in weight loss, helping with our vision, supporting a better immune system and lowering the risk of cancer.
Medical News Today reports that pumpkin is one of the best known sources of beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A by the body. It is this antioxidant that is responsible for our fruits’ and vegetables’ bright orange color.
One cup of cooked pumpkin has:
- Calories: 49
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Copper: 11% of the RDI
- Manganese: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
- Iron: 8% of the RDI
- Small amounts of: Magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and several B vitamins.
Creamy Vanilla and Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1⁄3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2⁄3 cup ice
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.