We are soon about to enter the fall season and do you know what is the number one thing that everyone loves in fall? It's pumpkins!
You cannot welcome fall without making Pumpkin Pies and pumpkin spiced lattes! But it would be so unfair if we limit this wonderful food to just the fall season, as pumpkin has so many benefits for us that work all year around!
Let us introduce you to some of them so that you too will be motivated to get pumpkin for all seasons and not just the fall!
History of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a new addition to Starbucks, with its pumpkin spiced lattes, but the actual orange gourd has been around for over five thousand years! That's right, pumpkin is even older than the fairy godmother!
First of all the word pumpkin came from a Greek word pepon. It means large melon. But the actual pumpkins didn't originate in Greece. No, the birthplace of pumpkins is central America where they were first cultivated by the ancient Central American civilizations.
Pumpkins spread to the world thanks to the pilgrims who settled in the American continent, where they saw Native Americans farming pumpkins.
And it's from here that pumpkin became a part of the Thanksgiving festival, as the pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in America by cooking up pumpkins!
Pumpkins soon became a part of the Halloween as well when Irish migrants came to America and found out that pumpkins are way easier to carve than the traditional turnips.
And soon enough Jack O Lanterns made of carved Pumpkins became a staple of the Halloween!
If these two festivals were not enough to make the pumpkin world famous, the fairy tale of Cinderella did the final trick, where the pumpkin appeared as the star of the show and was converted into a carriage to deliver Cinderella to the ball!
Safe to say, pumpkin continues to reign over our hearts and kitchens to this day!
Health benefits of Pumpkin
Believe it or not, pumpkin is actually a fruit, and not a vegetable as so many think. This is because pumpkins contain seeds which vegetables are not supposed to have.
But this technicality doesn't really matter in the end as pumpkins are as nutritious and good for our health like most vegetables are! And you better believe this about pumpkins, but if you don’t then don’t worry!
For we are here to tell you all the health benefits you can get by eating pumpkins in all seasons!
Pumpkin has a very diverse and rich nutrition profile, which includes
● Vitamin A, C and B,
● Minerals like Potassium, copper and manganese
● Healthy carbohydrates
All of these nutrients in pumpkin come with the added bonus of almost zero fat and very low carbs. And do all these big name nutrients mean for your health? Well, keep reading and you’ll soon find out!
If you are wearing high number spectacles and are worried about the future of your eyesight, then maybe you should consider including pumpkin in your regular diet!
Pumpkin is exceptionally high in Vitamin A thanks to the Beta-Carotene it contains. This beta-carotene is what gives pumpkins it's deep orange color.
But the important thing here is that our bodies convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which goes towards maintaining our eye health and keeping our retina in good shape.
And since Pumpkins contain around 200% of our daily Vitamin A requirement, it comes highly recommended as part of our daily diet. But wait, there’s more good stuff in pumpkins that will keep your eyes healthy! In addition to Vitamin A, Pumpkin also contains antioxidants like lutein and Zeaxanthin which research has shown can prevent eye-related diseases like cataracts!
Have you been falling sick too much these days? Or maybe you are catching a cold too often?
Then maybe you need to improve your immune system! And what better way to do that than having a pumpkin every day!
With Pumpkins high quantity of Vitamin A & C, you can make sure that your immune system will be prepared to fight any bacteria or virus! Vitamin C is especially important for our immune system as it helps it fight against colds!
You can also consider using pumpkin oil in your salads and pastas, as plenty of research has shown it to be effective against bacterial and fungal infections!
Pumpkin does not get the appreciation it deserves for being such a great diet food option.
Not only is pumpkin low in carbs and fats, but it is also high in fiber! This means that thanks to its high fiber content, having pumpkin will leave you feeling full for a long duration, thereby reducing hunger.
There is also the advantage of pumpkins being high in water quantity, which will also leave your body hydrated.
Canned pumpkin is especially high in its water quantity, but we suggest you go for the natural pumpkin from your farmer’s market as it comes with extra health benefits!
These days even people under the age of thirty are getting wrinkles on their skin. While our modern stress life is a big cause for this, the increasing UV rays from the sun are also equally responsible.
Which is why you must ensure your diet is high in beta-carotene, as it will protect your skin from those wrinkle-inducing UV rays. And do you know which food is high in this beta-carotene? Our very orange looking pumpkin! With its high beta-carotene, you can rest assured to look young even when you hit fifty! And do you want to know another secret to eternally youthful skin? You can make face masks with pumpkin puree, honey and milk which will leave you with supple soft and smooth skin guaranteed!
Okay so by now it's pretty clear that beta carotene is a super compound that can fight against diseases, keep your eyes healthy and make you look way younger!
But do you know what else beta carotene can do? It can fight cancer! That’s right, past research has shown that having a beta-carotene rich diet can reduce the risk of getting certain cancers, which includes prostate cancer.
This is due to our body converting beta carotene into Vitamin A, which is said to be an important antioxidant for our immune system along with Vitamin C. And luckily, pumpkins happen to be a good source of both these disease fighting vitamins!
How to eat Pumpkin
Most people associate pumpkins with Pies or Lattes, but that is selling this wonderful gourd short of what it is actually capable of. Just remember that when it comes to eating pumpkin, its flesh and seeds are fair game, but not its rind.
From roasting its flesh to using pumpkin seeds as decoration for your sugar cookies, there are just so many ways you can cook a pumpkin!
● Puree a pumpkin and make a soup out of it! Not only is it healthy but it is the perfect comfort food for your fall season!
● Roasted pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper would be a perfect accompaniment for your morning eggs!
● Have you ever tried adding pumpkin puree into your pancake batter? If not, then you should definitely include it the next time you make pancakes!
Gimme More Pumpkin Recipes
- Easy Pumpkin Pie filling Recipe from Scratch
- Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Recipe
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting
- Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
- Best Homemade Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
- Easy Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce & White Chocolate Chips
- Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Scrumptious Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chips Scones with Maple Glaze
- Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Buttery Streusel Topping
- Easiest Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Maple Glazed Pumpkin Blondies
- Gingersnap Crusted Pumpkin Praline Bars (Without Cake Mix)
● Pumpkin seeds can make for a great snack! Just wash them, soak them and roast them on a baking sheet. You will have crispy and yummy pumpkin seeds that you can munch on anytime!
Pumpkins are awesome, and we don’t need to tell you that. But why let pumpkins be awesome just during the fall season when they can be great anytime of the year?
And with all the added health benefits we have told you about pumpkins, we hope you will consider including more pumpkins in your daily life!