Pumpkin is one of my most favourite foods. It’s so versatile. It can be roasted whole or in wedges for salads, used as a base for curries and smoothies, mashed for babies, made into bread and pie and so much more!
Pumpkin, a starchy vegetable, is best cooked well as it aids digestion and also it tastes better this way.
Pumpkin is a nutrient dense option ensuring you get your bang for your buck! 1 cup of cooked mashed pumpkin is approximately 50 calories making it onto the lower calorie food list. Although, I do not prefer to count numbers, this is impressive considering its high nutrient density!
Pumpkin is extremely high in fibre, aiding our digestion and helping us feel fuller for longer which can contribute to weight loss.
Pumpkins help us see better, especially in the dark! Using the 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin example again, this amount contains more than double our RDI for vitamin A. As an aside, vitamin A is also important in ensuring healthy teeth, skin and bones.
Pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) are also full of nutritional benefits. These little beauties are the absolute key in obtaining strong, luscious and healthy hair. This is due to them being an excellent source of zinc, sulfur and vitamin A.
Being high in zinc, pepitas also help our skins integrity, helping to ward off acne and improve our health and immunity.
Rich in phytosterols, pepitas also provide cardioprotective benefits such as helping to reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Pepitas provide for a good source of protein, making them the perfect little snack or crunchy addition to your next salad.
Last but not least, pepitas are also rich in tryptophan, which helps both sleep and mood. Tryptophan acts as a major ingredient in the making of serotonin, our feel good hormone that helps us also relax.
So bake it, mash it, blend it… do whatever you want with it. Pumpkin is definitely one to add to your meals this week.