As the air begins to turn cooler, minds turn to sweatshirts, hayrides, apple picking and pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkins aren’t just for lattes, carving, or pumpkin pies. Pumpkins are actually the perfect superfood that can be enjoyed year round! They are one of the most nutritious fruits loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins.
What makes pumpkin the perfect superfood?
Here are some facts you might not have known about pumpkins:
- Pumpkins’ bright orange color contains beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Known for its immune-boosting powers, beta-carotene is also essential for eye health and has been linked to preventing coronary artery disease.
- One cup of canned pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and only 80 calories!
- One ounce of pumpkin seeds (~140) is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc – they also come with health benefits such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lower the risk of bladder stones, and preventing depression. They can easily be roasted in the oven at 170oF for 15-20 minutes.
- There are plenty of ways to sneak pumpkin into a meal. For breakfast, try adding canned or fresh pumpkin to oatmeal or pancakes. Pumpkin is also a great addition to muffins, breads, chili, and pasta!
- Fresh pumpkin can be easily roasted at 300 oF for 1 hour. Cut the pumpkin into small manageable pieces, add ¼ inch of water and bake uncovered.
If you need help getting nutritious foods, call 231-733-0434 for more information and to see if you qualify for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels helps to provide nutritious meals to homebound Americans whether it’s just for a short time as they recover from an injury or a long-term basis. The first step to signing up is to call.