Pumpkin-flavored everything is popular this time of year. But you don’t need to wait for fall to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable! Pumpkins are more than just Halloween decorations or pie fillings; they are low in calories as well as rich in vitamins and nutrients!
Pumpkins are packed with vitamin A, which is good for your eyesight and immune system. One single cup or serving of pumpkin can supply your body with 200 percent of the recommended daily intake. Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, which gives them their natural orange color. Because of this, consuming pumpkins can reduce your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Pumpkins can help with weight loss, too. There are only 50 calories per cup, and they are a great source of fiber, which slows digestion and can keep you feeling fuller longer.
How to incorporate pumpkin into your diet
- Canned pumpkin is very flexible for cooking and baking. Instead of using oil or butter when baking, pumpkin puree is a great substitute. You can even use it in soups or sauces to thicken them. Be sure to read the label to be certain of all the ingredients. Some brands may add unnecessary sugar.
- Roast pumpkin for an easy side dish.
- Mix pumpkin into your smoothies.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
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