(Cucurbita maxima)


Benefits of eating Pumpkin


  1. Weight Management:
    One cup of pumpkin puree contains just 83 calories and 1 g of fat. You can use pumpkin puree measure for measure for half of the oil or shortening in cookies or cakes to lower the fat content. You also can add pumpkin puree along with cinnamon and a teaspoon of brown sugar to oatmeal for a sweet, low-calorie breakfast.
  2. Vitamins:
    Pumpkin puree contains more than 38,000 international units of vitamin A per cup, which is more than 700 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Vitamin A helps support cell reproduction, vision health, immune function, bone health, healing and fetal development. Pumpkin puree provides 39 mcg of vitamin K per cup to help with blood coagulation and potentially protect against osteoporosis. Pumpkin puree also offers smaller amounts of most of the B vitamins. In particular, it is a source of folate, which helps protect against certain birth defects.
  3. Minerals:
    One cup of pumpkin puree provides more than 500 mg of potassium, more than you get in one banana. Potassium helps keep your mineral and fluid balance in check to promote proper heart rhythm and muscle function. It also provides 64 mg of calcium, 3.4 mg of iron and small amounts of copper, manganese, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. These minerals all support bone health, muscle contraction, immunity and nervous system function.
  4. Antioxidants:
    Pumpkin's orange color is a clue to its high antioxidant content. The puree offers lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which support vision health. Pumpkin also is a source of beta carotene. Diets rich in vegetables containing beta carotene correlate with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Pumpkin puree also provides vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports tissue repair and immunity, as well as vitamin E, which fights disease-causing free radicals in the body.
  5. Fiber:
    Pumpkin puree contains 7 g of fiber per cup. Adequate fiber intake ensures a healthy digestive tract and can help prevent constipation. Fiber also can help reduce your risk of heart disease by helping to lower your cholesterol levels. The Institute of Medicine recommends women take in a minimum of 25 g of fiber daily and men a minimum of 38 g daily.



If you open a can of pumpkin puree only around Thanksgiving to make pumpkin pie, you are missing out a wealth of nutrients. Pumpkin puree is low in calories and fat and offers a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support a healthy diet. Use a number of creative strategies to incorporate pumpkin puree into your diet.

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