Versatile & Delicious, Pumpkin is a Perfect Health Food for This Season

Versatile & Delicious, Pumpkin is a Perfect Health Food for This Season

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The word pumpkin makes us think of two things: jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie. Did you know that these gourds are a powerhouse of nutrients? Pumpkins are packed with a ton of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. I just love when something delicious (and versatile in cooking) is also so nutritious!

Pumpkins get their bright orange color from beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted into vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is essential for eye health and has been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. It also has immune-boosting power. One of my favorite things about pumpkin is that you can get so many of its benefits in the organic canned version — one cup of canned pumpkin has 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein (even more than the fresh stuff) with only 80 calories and 1 gram of fat!  Amazing, right?

So, what about those pumpkin seeds? One ounce is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Studies suggest pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits — such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and helping to prevent depression. Plus, they contain high levels of phytosterols, which research suggests can reduce cholesterol and even help prevent some types of cancers. Pumpkins truly are a superfood — the flesh and seeds have amazing health benefits, so eat up!

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Pumpkin doesn’t have to be limited to the holidays, so you can enjoy the health benefits all year long. There are plenty of ways to add pumpkin into any meal — whether you use the seeds or the flesh, canned, cooked, or raw. You can make a soup or a muffin — the options are endless. Check out our blog post: Beyond Pumpkin Pie- Three Delicious and Healthy Pumpkin Pie Recipes for a few ideas to get your juices flowing. And try this recipe below for a quick and easy breakfast or dessert. It’s healthy and delicious!

Superfood Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Parfait


1/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

1/2 large frozen banana

1 ½ cups almond milk (or hemp, soy, rice or any other type of milk)

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Optional Toppings

Crumbled graham crackers, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, peanut butter (or any other nut butter), walnut pieces, sliced almonds, etc.


  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding the almond milk as you go, until reaching the desired consistency.
  2. Pour into glass and top with desired toppings.

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Be Well, Be NutritionWise

~ Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, CSP, CLC

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.