A pumpkin’s orange hue is actually a result of high internal levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Also seen in carrots and sweet potatoes, beta-carotene alters the hue of plants and is converted into vitamin A by the body. Eating foods rich in this vitamin is fantastic for the body, as it helps fight asthma and heart disease.
- Fun Fact: One serving of pumpkin contains 200% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin A.
Customers who keep a watchful eye on their cholesterol will be happy to know that pumpkin is actually a great blood pressure regulator. Pumpkins are rich in fiber and potassium, with the latter being very important in the treatment of hypertension.
The meat of the pumpkin isn’t the only nutritious part of the squash. Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, but are an especially fantastic source of magnesium, containing 25% of a recommended daily dose in two tablespoons. Their crunchy texture and small size makes the seeds a fantastic snack when baked.
- Pro tip: Start the day off with a healthy breakfast by adding them to your house- made granola.
To maximize the health benefits of pumpkins, serve them fresh whenever possible, as canned pumpkin often contains added sugar. Making your own purees is always ideal, plus you get the added benefit of cooking with the seeds and rind!