Most people only think of pumpkins as Halloween decorations or a delicious pie during Thanksgiving. Large, round, orange canvases for us to carve scary faces. There is so much more to the humble pumpkin; it is packed with nutrition.
Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Let’s think about pumpkin in more ways than just sweet pumpkin pies and sugary pumpkin lattes. According to WebMD there are six health benefits to adding pumpkin to your diet.
Weight Loss: Pumpkin is rich in fiber. Fiber helps slow the digestion process which in return helps you feel fuller longer. Pumpkin is very filling, but it’s super low in calories.
Sharp Vision: When you think of pumpkins you think of orange. That brilliant orange color comes from beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health.
Better Immunity: The large shot of vitamin A not only helps your eyes but it also helps your body fight infections and viruses. Pumpkin is packed with nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of Vitamin C.
Younger Looking Skin: Eating pumpkin can help you look younger; but you can also use the pulp as a great, all-natural face mask that exfoliates and soothes.
Lower Cancer Risk: Beta-carotene is great for your eyes and skin, but you know what else it is good for? Fighting cancer. Research shows that people who eat a beta-carotene rich diet may have a lower risk of some types of cancer.
It May Help Treat Diabetes: In scientific tests, pumpkin has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, and increase the amount of insulin the body produces.
So, how do you add pumpkin to your diet? Well, luckily pumpkin is delicious and can be used in so many more ways that sugar-laden pumpkin desserts. This recipe sneaks pumpkin into another classic fall dish, chili. It doesn’t make the chili overly sweet or too “pumpkiny.” It just makes it super rich and delicious. I hope you try to include pumpkin in your dishes and add a great healthy food to your diet.