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5 Benefits of Pumpkin

by Karina Corona |

Pumpkin Season is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited! Not only does this mean that Fall is finally here, but now we have the perfect excuse to eat anything and everything Pumpkin flavored-- including our Limited Edition Pumpkin Mole. From enchiladas to sopes to pasta, this seasonal sauce is perfect for all your fall inspired dishes.

Pumpkin, or Calabaza as it is known in Mexico, has always been an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine. This type of squash is actually believed to have originated in Mexico more than 7500 years ago. Although the original pumpkin’s were hard and bitter, they were an important part of the ancient Mexican diet because of  their durable exterior were ideal for poor harvests and harsh weather.

In Mexico today, Pumpkin is sold in all shape, sizes, and colors. From moles and tamales to dried seeds (pepitas) and sweet candies, Pumpkin is a key ingredient in a variety of dishes. Not only are Pumpkins delicious and a favorite fall food, but these colorful squashes happen to be good for you too!

5 Health Benefits That Can Come With Eating Pumpkin:

1. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, with a cup of fresh pumpkin providing about 3 grams of fiber and a cup of canned pumpkin providing 7 grams. The consumption of fiber not only slows the rate of sugar absorption in the blood, but allows for smooth digestion.

2. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins that can help protect and boost your immunity. Both the seeds and pulp of this popular squash are high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Once consumed, the beta-carotene found in Pumpkin is converted into Vitamin A, which helps your body fight infections. Meanwhile, the intake of Vitamin C can help your body increase white blood cell production.

3. Pumpkins contain antioxidants that could help your body prevent certain cancers. The antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, found in pumpkins, can neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging your cells.

4. Eating Pumpkin could help promote weight loss, because it is considered a nutrient-dense food-- meaning that it’s very low in calories but incredibly packed with nutrients. Since one cup of pumpkin only has 50 calories and is made of about 94% water, it can be consumed in greater quantities than other carbs.  

5. Pumpkin may help protect your vision as you age. Just one cup of pumpkin provides over 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for eye health. Pumpkin is also packed with the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to helping prevent cataracts.

What’s your favorite way to incorporate Pumpkin into your diet? Have a favorite recipe? Let us know in the comments!

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