Ah, Pumpkin Spice or Pumpkin, everything is here early this year. There is nothing like your first sip of a pumpkin latte with those warm, complex spices and knowing Fall season is around the corner. BUT, did you know that pumpkin and also the pumpkin pie spice has health benefits as well? All the more reason to get on the pumpkin everything train.
Here are some health benefits of why eating more pumpkin and the spice can boost some surprising benefits.
- High in Antioxidants. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that can boost your immune system. It’s high in beta-carotene and also high in vitamin C. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin E, iron, and folate in which have been shown to aid the immune system as well (1).
- Promotes Weight-loss. Pumpkin is considered a Nutrient-Dense food, which means it’s incredibly low in calories but high in nutritional value. Did you know that pumpkin comes in around 45-55 calories per cup and is made of about 94% of water? This is why pumpkin can be weight-loss-friendly food. Did you know that you can consume more of it than other carb sources — such as rice and potatoes — but still take in fewer calories. What’s more, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, helping curb your appetite and help regulate your blood sugar. (2)
- Skin Health. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients that are great for your skin. For one, it’s high in carotenoids like beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. It is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen. Pumpkins also contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against UV rays (4,) (3).
- Healthy Heart. Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients that can improve your heart health. It’s high in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, which have been linked to heart benefits. Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which may protect “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
- High in Fiber. Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fiber. The recommended intake of fiber is between 25-38g per day for adults. Fiber slows the sugar absorption rate into the blood, promotes regular bowel movements, and smooths digestion. Comes in near 3g of fiber in I cup of cooked, fresh pumpkin, and more than 7g in canned pumpkin; adding pumpkin to a daily diet can help a person increase their fiber intake.
- Eye Health. Ever notice your eyesight changes each year? It’s quite common for eyesight to diminish with age. It is high in nutrients that have been linked to helpIng in aiding with eyesight as your body ages. Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein, zeaxanthin, and also contains good amounts of vitamins C and E, which may prevent free radicals from damaging your eye cells and help battle against cataracts.
- Electrolytes. Pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. It also contains magnesium, which added with the potassium is great on restoring your electrolytes, especially if you are active. Did you know that there are around 500 milligrams of potassium in One cup of canned pumpkin? (4)
Pumpkin Pie Spice Benefits
- Cinnamon. This lovely spice has anti-inflammatory and can lower blood sugar levels. It also is packed with antioxidants.
- Nutmeg. Nutmeg also regulates blood pressure and can treat bad breath. It is also an excellent remedy for insomnia, as it is rich in magnesium — a mineral that promotes relaxation and sleep. It also has impressive fiber content that can help promote healthy digestion.
- Ginger. Ginger is often used to soothe upset stomachs and reduce nausea the spice is more than a cold season superhero. Like cinnamon, ginger has been linked to helping to regulate blood sugar and antioxidants. It also has gingerol, that can help keep infections at bay.
- Clove. Similar to cinnamon and ginger, clove is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C. It also contains antimicrobial properties that can help keep bacteria at bay and promote oral health. Clove also helps support healthy blood sugar levels, liver health, and bone health.
- Allspice. This spice can aid in inflammatory issues. An impressive health benefit of allspice is its ability to improve circulation. Allspice boasts significant copper and iron levels that are essential to red blood cells. Because of this, it can boost circulation and even warm the body.
So, all this talk of pumpkin and pumpkin spice probably has you wanting to dive into some pumpkin deliciousness. Below are some pumpkin recipes you can incorporate.
Want more? Click to get a FREE Pumpkin Loving recipe book with 15 recipes, including nutritional facts.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Total Time-10 minutes
- 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
- 2 Banana (frozen)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
- Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
No Pumpkin Pie Spice? Use cinnamon & nutmeg combined instead. Or just cinnamon.
Toppings? Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice if desired, and top with raw pumpkin seeds if you like some crunch.
Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-2
Calories 270, Fat 4g, Carbs 40g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 19g, Protein 23g
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
Total Time-20 min
- 2 cup Brown Rice Macaroni Brown Rice (dry)
- 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- Sea Salt & Black
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice macaroni as per the package’s directions. When finished cooking, strain and run under cold water immediately to prevent from overcooking.
- Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk is steaming, whisk in the arrowroot until all clumps are gone.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Turn down to low heat and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
- Pour the pumpkin sauce over the macaroni and mix well. Divide into bowls and enjoy!
Leftovers-Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Spice Lover-Add chili flakes, hot sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano and/or rosemary.
More Protein-Add cooked diced chicken, chickpeas or lentils.
Don’t have Brown Rice Pasta? Use regular macaroni.
More Vegetables-Add wilted spinach, kale, broccoli, and/or sauteed mushrooms.
Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4
Calories 313, Fat 3g, Carbs 58g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 5g, Protein 13g
Total time-20 mins
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 1/4 cups Pureed Pumpkin
- 2 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Ground Sage
- 1 1/2 tsps Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Milk (optional)
- In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in pumpkin, broth, almond milk, ginger, sage, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Divide the pumpkin soup into separate bowls.
- Put the coconut milk into a squeeze bottle and draw a spiral in each bowl of soup. Enjoy!
No Coconut Milk-Use Greek yogurt.
No Squeeze Bottle? Place coconut milk in one end of a small plastic sandwich bag and make a very small cut in the corner. Gently squeeze the milk out of the bag.
Storage-Store in the fridge up to 3-4 days or freezer up to 6 months in an air-tight container. If storing in mason jars, use wide-mouth jars and leave at least 1 inch of space at the top to allow the fluid to expand.
Serve it With-Toasted organic bread and our Grilled Cherry Salad.
Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4
Calories 162, Fat 11g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 7g, Protein 2g