Why Pumpkin is a Nutritious Addition to Your Diet

It’s the time of year when you can find pumpkin spice in your cookies, pies, and lattes – but while it’s no secret that pumpkin is a delightful fall treat, you may not be entirely aware of its nutritional value.

Pumpkins are packed with a heap of vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper and magnesium and vitamins E, C and K – but the fruit’s power lies in its highest potency vitamin: vitamin A.

Vitamin A is an antioxidant present in pumpkin in a major way, accounting for an incredibly high percentage of the fruit’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA for short). Just how beneficial is vitamin A to the body? It’s essential for a properly functioning immune system and reproductive cell growth. Further, according to Nutrition and You, vitamin A is vital for “maintaining the integrity of [your] skin,” meaning that it also facilitates the healthy production of your skin cells. Good health and glowing skin are great reasons to incorporate this superfood staple into your diet!

Here are a few ways to incorporate more pumpkin into your diet:

Pumpkin Granola

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This low-cal recipe for pumpkin granola is packed with all of your favorite fall flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, oats for a guaranteed energy boost, flaxseed and pumpkin seeds for essential omega 3’s – and pumpkin, of course, for a healthy immune system and radiant skin. Making your own granola is a super simple process that makes it easy to account for every nutrient, calorie and gram of sugar you’re getting out of your breakfast. Simply combine all of your ingredients with rolled oats, spread the mixture onto parchment paper and bake and you’ll have a delicious, simple and nutritious breakfast.

Get the full recipe here.

Pumpkin Chili

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Here’s a heart-healthy recipe that combines two of your fall favorites: chili and pumpkin. The kidney beans in this recipe are guaranteed to amplify your iron levels, (resulting in an energy boost) in addition to promoting a healthy digestive track. If that weren’t enough, this savory dish is sure to leave you feeling satiated until dinner time. Combine your ingredients in a saucepan, starting with the onions and garlic, and then gradually incorporate the remaining ingredients, bringing the mixture to a boil and then simmer for a savory meal in under an hour.

Get the full recipe here.

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

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With Thanksgiving coming up, you’re definitely going to want this classic-with-a-twist on the menu. These mashed potatoes are just as creamy and delectable as your grandmother’s classic mashed potato recipe, and adding pumpkin to the mix will make your favorite comfort food instantly healthier this holiday season – and there’s no need to change up your routine drastically. Simply add the pumpkin into the mixture as the final ingredient and heat thoroughly before serving. Who knew that mashed potatoes could be nutritious and delicious?

Get the full recipe here.

Pumpkin Chai Latte

Skip the trip to Starbucks for your usual pumpkin spice latte and opt for this homemade version instead. This latte comes in at just 90 calories and is a low sugar alternative with all of the flavor of the original. Combine the ingredients and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stir in your fall spices, prepare your foam and enjoy.

Get the full recipe here.

Getting all of your nutrients from food alone is difficult, which is why over ninety percent of Americans are nutrient deficient. WellPath provides customized solutions to help optimize your nutrition. Learn more about how you can get started by taking a free consultation here.

About Raven Hicks

Raven is an undergraduate student at Hunter College earning her BA in English Literature, Linguistics and Rhetoric and Women and Gender Studies with plans to graduate Spring 2017. Raven is an informed advocate for physical and emotional wellness, in addition to change surrounding issues of social justice. When not at school, she works as an intern for Innovation Department’s Editorial team and as a senior explainer at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. Her interests include reading, writing, acting and browsing the web. In the near future, Raven hopes to become a published author that inspires change through the power of her voice.