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5 Pumpkin Recipes To Enjoy This Seasonal (and Surprisingly Nutritious) Squash

Did you know that between 2016 and 2018, each American used 6.5 pounds of pumpkin each year on average?1 You read that right: 6.5 pounds per person. That’s a lot of pumpkins! But who can blame them? This sweet, seasonal squash hails from North America and has been cultivated for millennia, and nowadays comes in two main types: those for decorating and those for pies.1 Pie pumpkins are usually smaller, denser, and sweeter than decorative pumpkins.1 But it turns out even pie pumpkins offer more than just another form of pie to enjoy.

THE SURPRISING NUTRITIOUS VALUE OF THIS SEASONAL SQUASH

Canned pumpkin (the kind used in most recipes) packs a delicious dose of all sorts of nutrients, including Vitamin A, dietary fiber, Calcium, Vitamin C, and Iron.2

A mere ½ cup of canned pumpkin provides:2

  • 14,000 IU (4200 RAE) of Vitamin A
  • 3 g of Dietary Fiber
  • 5 mg of Vitamin C
  • 40 mg of Calcium
  • 1 mg of Iron (4% of the Daily Value)

Pumpkin seeds offer up a few other unique minerals as well. In only ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds, you’ll find:3

  • 3 mg of Iron
  • 165 mg of Magnesium
  • 230 mg of Potassium
  • 2 mg of Zinc

All of these are important nutrients in their own right. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, a healthy immune system, and even helps the heart, lungs, and kidneys work properly.4 Dietary fiber is a group of various plant compounds that provide digestive health benefits and help foster heart health. Vitamin C is a known antioxidant and immune system support nutrient, which helps neutralize free radicals in the body.5 Calcium is required by the body to support strong bones, muscles, and nerves.6 Iron is a mineral the body uses to make red blood cells and is required for normal growth and development.7 Magnesium is important for the body’s ability to regulate muscle and nerve functions, and even the body’s ability to make protein, bone, and DNA.8 Potassium is required by the body for almost everything it does, including heart, muscle, nerve, and kidney functions.9 And Zinc is an essential mineral found throughout the body that helps support immune system health, as well as to make proteins and DNA.10 Between canned pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, you can get hefty amounts of each of these nutrients, and that’s just a brief overview of everything they have to offer!

So, if you’re one of the millions of Americans partaking in pumpkin pie this fall, go ahead and yourself a slice. Or find a whole new recipe to try!

5 PUMPKIN RECIPES THAT GO BEYOND THE PIE

Here are 5 recipes if you’re interested in enjoying more of this surprisingly nutritious squash this fall:

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Pumpkin Smoothie in a Cup

This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information.

References

  1. US Department of Agriculture. “Stats to Spice Up Your Pumpkin Knowledge.” 2019. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/10/22/stats-spice-your-pumpkin-knowledge
  2. US Department of Agriculture. “Pumpkin.” 2019. Agricultural Research Service. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/513658/nutrients
  3. US Department of Agriculture. “Pumpkin Seeds.” 2020. Agricultural Research Service. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/932872/nutrients
  4. National Institutes of Health. “Vitamin A: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2020. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/
  5. National Institutes of Health. “Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
  6. National Institutes of Health. “Calcium: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
  7. National Institutes of Health. “Iron: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/
  8. National Institutes of Health. “Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2020. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
  9. National Institutes of Health. “Potassium: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-Consumer/
  10. National Institutes of Health. “Zinc: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Offices of Dietary Supplements. Accessed on: October 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/

 

 


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