Pumpkins are the fruit that grow from the vining plant, Cucurbita. Although they are a seasonal fruit, you can enjoy delicious pumpkin fruit year-round either from the raw fruit itself or from canned pumpkin puree. If choosing to eat canned pumpkin, look for products that contain no added sugars or flavors, as natural pumpkin is what offers the highest amount of health benefits.
Pumpkin Health Uses and Health Benefits
Pumpkin health benefits are abundant thanks to its rich nutritional profile. Pumpkins are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals and healthy antioxidants. One of the most impressive nutritional benefits of pumpkin is that it’s extremely high in vitamin A—one serving contains 245% of the daily recommended intake. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin C, D and riboflavin as well as minerals like potassium, copper, iron and manganese.1,2
Pumpkin is also rich in beta-carotene, which is what gives this gourd its rich orange color. Beta-carotene is a phytonutrient the body converts into vitamin A, which is required for healthy immune system and eye health. Beta-carotene also has important antioxidant benefits for preventing certain types of cancers and degenerative conditions that occur with aging, like macular degeneration.1,3
Being high in fiber, pumpkin has other important benefits for digestion, heart health and diabetes prevention. High-fiber diets can help the body eliminate harmful substances such as fats, toxins and cholesterol.1,2