Skip to content

Blog

Pumpkin: Not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Published on October 26, 2015 by Dr. Myra Reed

It is the perfect time of the year to celebrate National Pumpkin Day.  Each year on October 26 people across the nation enjoy cake, pie, cookies, bars, pudding, coffee, smoothies, candy, breads. muffins, soups, cheesecake, oatmeal, lasagna and more, all made with delicious pumpkin.  But did you know that pumpkins have numerous health benefits?

From Shakespeare’s reference to “pumpion” in The Merry Wives of Windsor to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, pumpkin is woven into the fabric of history and cuisine. Native Americans roasted long strips of pumpkin over an open flame and ate them. Colonists made pumpkin pie by slicing off the pumpkin top; removing the seeds; filling the rind with milk, spices, and honey; and then baking the pumpkin over hot ashes. And we all know pumpkin transforms into Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween decor. Today, we appreciate pumpkin not just for culinary traditions, but also for its abundance of nutrients and versatility in healthy meal preparation, such as soufflés, soups, bread, jam, butter, and desserts.

A member of the Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables (along with cucumber and squash), pumpkin is cultivated around the world for both its fleshy vibrant orange meat and seeds. It is a naturally low calorie (49 calories per one cup serving), yet filling food that offers the following health benefits:

Health Benefits

  • Pumpkin contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and many antioxidant vitamins, including A, C, and E.
  • It is also an excellent source of many natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as beta-carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body. Zeaxanthin is a natural antioxidant that may offer protection from age-related macular disease.
  • Pumpkin is a good source of the B-complex group of vitamins including niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
  • It is a rich source of copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
  • Pumpkin seeds provide dietary fiber and pack a powerful mix of protein, minerals, and vitamins: 100 g (1 cup) of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, plus folate, iron, niacin, selenium, and zinc.

Enjoy this healthy treat on National Pumpkin Day.


December 10, 2021

Plant-Based Diet: How Do I Start?

The What, Why & How of Plant-based Nutrition, for Everyone Here’s something that might surprise you: not all plant-based diets require elimination of meat. From ...

August 4, 2021

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know for Your Health

Worldwide interest in the health protective benefits of Vitamin D has increased exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now know that low Vitamin ...

April 13, 2020

Stop the Spread, Wear a Mask.

We now have KN95 Masks available for purchase! KN95 masks are arriving this weekend. Starting Monday, April 13th, 2020 we will be selling them at ...

April 14, 2019

FODMAP Diet for IBS

Digestive Distress Diet Digestive complaints are among the most common health concerns. If you’re experiencing distress, Dr. Myra Reed will evaluate the foods and substances you are eating to identify where a reaction exists. There are many ways to conduct a dietary analysis, including food diary, food allergy testing, muscle testing, and elimination diets. The ...

April 13, 2019

Fermented Foods

You can support your gut health with fermented, nutrient-potent foods. Ranging from tangy to bitterly sweet in flavor, these foods originated decades ago in the cultures of Japan, China, India, and Germany.Fermenting imbues foods with the health-enhancing properties of live bacteria, providing an ample source of probiotics, which are essential to a strong digestive tract. ...

April 12, 2019

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Digestive Distress: Holistic Approaches to Irritable Bowel Syndrome When the smooth rhythm of the muscles of the digestive tract is disrupted, either moving too quickly or too slowly, we experience digestive distress. For some of us, this distress can be frequent and painful, creating a major disruption in our life and in our lifestyle.Several health ...

close