Pumpkin Nutrition: Get the Facts on This Fall Favorite

Joanna Foley

by | Updated: September 29th, 2023 | Read time: 5 minutes

When fall rolls around, many people have one food on their mind: pumpkin. This seasonal food is a favorite amongst many and is often enjoyed in lattes, pies and other seasonal treats. While these goodies aren’t usually considered health foods, the good news is that pumpkin does come with some impressive health benefits that can make enjoying this fall favorite even better.

Read on to learn more about pumpkin nutrition, its health benefits and nutritious ways to enjoy it this fall season.

An Overhead View Shows a Woman Prepping Pumpkin on a Kitchen Counter, Cutting Raw Pumpkin into Cubes on a Cutting Board, Representing Pumpkin Nutrition.

Pumpkin Nutrition: A Breakdown of Pureed Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a type of squash, but it is most commonly consumed in canned and pureed form.

One cup of canned pumpkin puree provides the following nutritional profile:

Calories: 83

Protein: 3g

Total fat: 1g

Saturated fat: 0g

Carbs: 20g

Fiber: 7g

Total sugars: 8g

Added sugars: 0g

Sodium: 12.3mg (1% daily value)

Vitamin A: 1,906mcg (212% daily value)

Vitamin C: 10.3mg (11% daily value)

Potassium: 504mg (11% daily value)

Magnesium: 56mg (13% daily value)

Iron 3.4mg (19% daily value)

Pumpkin Nutrition: What are the Benefits

As seen in its nutritional profile, pumpkin is a nutrient-dense vegetable. Here are some of the major health benefits of eating pumpkin:

Rich in antioxidants to help fight disease.

Pumpkin is high in the antioxidant vitamins A and C. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals, which are harmful substances that can damage your body’s cells. This makes them powerful disease-fighters and supporters of overall good health. Eating pumpkin can help make sure you consume enough antioxidants.

Supports a strong immune system.

The antioxidant vitamins A and C in pumpkin nutrition also strengthen your immune system by fighting off bacteria and other pathogens that enter your body. This helps lower your chances of becoming sick, or when you do get sick your body will be able to recover more quickly. This makes pumpkin an especially good choice to add to your regular diet during cold and flu season which is more common in the cooler months.

Supports eye health.

Pumpkin provides over 200% of your daily needs for vitamin A, which supports normal vision and healthy eyes. In fact, being deficient in vitamin A can lead to blindness and other eye disorders like macular degeneration. Whether or not you feel you are at risk of eye disorders, pumpkin is a good choice to help keep your eyes functioning as they should.

Supports heart health.

Pumpkin is also rich in the mineral potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure levels. Increasing your potassium intake can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. This is especially true when combined with following a low sodium diet.

Can help support a healthy weight.

Pumpkin is very low in calories but high in fiber. This combination can help support a healthy weight by keeping you full without a lot of calories. Since fiber is slowly digested, it can help curb your appetite and may control overeating. However, keep in mind that this benefit is only made possible in the context of an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle.

How to Healthfully Enjoy Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn’t just for desserts and other sugary treats. Here are some nutritious ways to enjoy canned pumpkin this fall season and beyond.

Blend it into a smoothie.

Try adding about ½ cup of canned pumpkin into a smoothie along with frozen banana, almond butter, vanilla protein powder, milk of choice and some pumpkin pie spice. The result is a nutrient-dense and delicious treat you can enjoy any time of day.

Add it to chia seed pudding.

Blend canned pumpkin with chia seeds, milk of choice and a touch of sweetener and/or spices. You can find a variety of recipes for chia pudding online. This decadent treat tastes too good to be healthy, but is rich in fiber, protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Use it in soups.

Canned pumpkin can be stirred right into a variety of pumpkin soups along with other nutritious ingredients like vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Add it to oatmeal.

Canned pumpkin can be used in overnight oats, baked oatmeal or oatmeal cooked on the stovetop. Simply add a small amount to however you like your oatmeal best and flavor it as desired.

Bake it into muffins.

Some types of pumpkin muffins can be loaded with added sugar and contain refined flour that is low in fiber. However, you can make pumpkin muffins using natural sweeteners like maple syrup and whole-grains like whole wheat or oat flour for a more nutritious spin on this seasonal breakfast food.

Make pumpkin energy bites.

There are many simple recipes for pumpkin energy bites online. While many do contain added sugars, look for recipes that also include high-fiber and nutrient-dense ingredients like oats, chia seeds and nut butter in addition to canned pumpkin. This will help balance out the nutritional profile while providing a delicious and convenient snack that will keep you full until the next meal time.

In Summary

There are a lot of health benefits that come along with pumpkin nutrition. Being rich in fiber, antioxidants and other important nutrients makes pumpkin a healthy food to include in your seasonal recipes and meals. Just remember to watch out for added sugar and saturated fats when choosing foods that contain pumpkin, and consider making your own nutritious pumpkin snacks and meals.

Featured Products

Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin Puree
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Simple Mills Almond Flour Muffin & Bread Mix Gluten Free Pumpkin