When you think about pumpkins, what comes to mind? Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Halloween? Pumpkin Pie? Charlie Brown? Cinderella? News Flash! Pumpkins have ten health benefits that can help you live a healthy life. In fact, pumpkins seeds, leaves, and juices are all packed with essential nutrients.
Did you know? One cup of cooked, broiled, or drained pumpkin is only 49 calories.
The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body
In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.
As you can see, pumpkins are an excellent choice to incorporate in your daily diets. Pumpkins are full of color and are a great way to eat your veggies! Using MyPlate you can incorporate Pumpkin in a variety of seasonal dishes such as Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin and White Bean Soup.
Remember: People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body. So while you are in town stop by Anderson Farms (400 Slagle Rd. Leesville, LA) or The Harvest Pumpkin Patch (120 Mahlon St. DeRidder, LA) to purchase your family a delicious, nutritious pumpkin.
To learn more about the health benefits of pumpkin please visit lsuagcenter.com or contact Aneisha Andrus Area Nutrition Agent at (337) 239-3231.
University of Illinois Extension (2017). Pumpkin Nutrition. Retrieved from https://extension.illinois.edu/pumpkins/nutrition.cfm
USDA (2016). Fall is Here: Celebrate with Pumpkin, 5 Different Ways. Retrieved from https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/10/20/fall-he...
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture