When You Eat Pumpkin, Make Sure It’s the Real Deal
Halloween has come and gone, and with it starts the yearly pumpkin revolution. You will see cans of pumpkin featured prominently on shelves in the supermarket, fresh pumpkins of all sizes in the produce department, and products including lattes, cakes, donuts and even ravioli touting this yummy ingredient. Pumpkin consumer beware – many of the foods containing some form of pumpkin ingredient are also highly processed and can have a hefty dose of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, along with loads of preservatives and food colorings.
What are the health benefits of pumpkin?
- Pumpkin is full of fiber, which means it fills you up and helps with bowel health
- Pumpkin has zeaxanthin, a compound believed to help prevent age-related macular degeneration and impaired eyesight
- Pumpkin is low in cholesterol and high in vitamin A, which is important for eye and skin health
- Pumpkin seeds have heart-healthy phytosterols
- Pumpkin has magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper and phosphorus – a cocktail of nutrients that can support energy, growth and your immune system
Just remember that pumpkin candy, desserts, and other processed foods, offer low levels of health-boosting pumpkin. The lesson is to always read nutrition labels carefully.
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach