Pumpkin, The Superfood

Pumpkin, the Superfood

‘Tis the season for pumpkin flavored everything! Beyond the lattes and desserts that get all of the hype this time of year, pumpkin can be used in soups, baked alongside other fall favorites, or the seeds can be roasted for a healthy on-the-go snack.

Picking Your Pumpkin

The largest pumpkin ever documented weighed over 1,140 pounds! Your average pumpkin probably won’t tip the scales at more than 10 – 20 pounds, but it will be sure to please if you follow these steps:

  • Look for one with a stem that is one to two inches in length.
  • Avoid pumpkins that have soft spots, dark discoloration, blemishes, or breaks in the skin.
  • Choose one that feels heavy for its size.
  • The shape is up to you! After all, it is what is on the inside that matters.

Jack o’ lanterns are not just fun to keep as décor during the holiday season, 1 cup of cubed pumpkin contains 394 mg of potassium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of protein, and 198% of your daily vitamin A!

Relaxation

Potassium plays a hand in heart function, muscle response, fluid balance, as well as bone and brain health. Sufficient potassium consumption plays a role in our nerves’ ability to effectively send and receive messages. Potassium also directly affects blood pressure as it acts as a vasodilator, meaning it helps our blood vessels relax when consumed in ample amounts. It is no wonder why we find pumpkin containing dishes so comforting!

Night Vision

They contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin A supports eye health. This benefit is especially important as our days grow shorter this time of year because vitamin A has been clinically proven to improve night vision.

Low in Carbohydrates

You may automatically assume that a starchy food like pumpkin is naturally full of carbohydrates. With just 8 carbohydrates per cup and a soothing flavor to boot, pumpkin is a no guilt addition to your meal rotation this season!

Check out these recipes below!

 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Pecans
Pumpkin Pie

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About Western Missouri Medical Center

Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is a fully-accredited acute care county medical center located in Warrensburg, MO. WMMC prides itself in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedic and general surgery, family healthcare, internal medicine, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and more. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, intensive, obstetrical, orthopedic, pediatric and skilled nursing care, as well as a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at WMMC.com.