As Halloween and Thanksgiving approach many of us are using pumpkins for decorations or in making pies but do you know the nutritional facts on this beautiful orange plant?

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, one cup of pumpkin (cooked, boiled, drained and without salt) contains:

  • 49 calories
  • 1.76 grams of protein
  • 0.17 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar)

Consuming one cup of canned pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value of vitamin C, 10% or more vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese and at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothentic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. 

Preparing and using fresh pumpkin provides the most nutritional value but canned pumpkin is a good choice too.  Just make sure if you use canned pumpkin that it does not contain any added sugars, syrups or salt.

There are many ways to incorporate pumpkin into your diet. Look for sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins for cooking which are smaller and sweeter.  Make your own pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin. Here are a few ideas on adding pumpkin to your diet.

 

  1. Use pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin when baking in place of oil or butter.
  2. Make a quick pumpkin chocolate yogurt by combining Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, honey and cocoa powder.
  3. Add pumpkin butter to toast, cookies, crackers, oatmeal or anything else.
  4. Pumpkin dip for apples, veggies, pretzels.
  5. Use pumpkin puree in your morning smoothie.
  6. Pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin can also help our pets. It can calm an upset stomach, keep that pudgy pooch feeling full so they don't eat as much and hopefully loose a couple of pounds, helps promote support for their immune system, keeps skin and fur healthy and helps to prevent cancer. 

This fall try something new and add some pumpkin to your diet, it's easy to do and you may realize some great health benefits.