All the Healthy Reasons You Should Eat Pumpkin

If pumpkin only has a place in your life when it comes to Halloween decor or its sweetened spice, it's time to make a change. Start enjoying this nutritious squash regularly to support your healthy goals all Fall long.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

The Benefits

It's low in calories: All low-calorie foods won't keep you full, but pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food where you truly get your bang for your buck. One cup of creamy and satisfying pumpkin puree weighs in at just over 80 calories.

It's high in fiber: When you're looking to take off weight, eating a diet that's rich in fiber is essential, since high-fiber foods keep your digestive system running smoothly and keep you feeling full for longer. Just one cup of pumpkin offers seven grams of protein, so eat your fill to support your weight-loss goals.

It can boost your immunity: If you constantly battle bugs during the cooler months of year, it's essential to enjoy a diet that's high in vitamins and minerals that will support your health. High in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and iron, pumpkin is full of nutrients that keep your body running in tip-top shape.

How to Enjoy

Blended in a smoothie: Just six ingredients, your blender, and five minutes are all you need to create this rich-tasting, dairy-free pumpkin pie smoothie. Bring a scoop of your favorite vanilla powder to the mix to make this smoothie a quick and easy breakfast that supports weight loss.

Cooked in a curry: This curried pumpkin with raisins brings just the right kick of spice your healthy table. It's the perfect plant-based main dish for a cool night.

Stirred in a soup: This vegan and Paleo-friendly pumpkin-coconut bisque will curb everyone's dairy cravings; coconut milk thickens things up, leaving you with the perfect (seemingly rich) texture.

Baked in a bar: This pumpkin protein bar has all the flavors of the latte you're craving with a fraction of the sugar. For just 150 calories per bar, you'll also get eight grams of protein, making it a great post-workout snack.

Inside out: Whether you're all ready carving a pumpkin up with your kids or roasting the flesh for a recipe, don't toss those seeds! They're high in healthy fats, antioxidants, and are a good source of fiber and protein. Roast up leftover seeds, and enjoy them as a crunchy topping or simple snack.