SUPERFOOD SERIES: Pumpkin

We’re in the middle of a full-on pumpkin flavour takeover. There’s pumpkin in your bagels, beer and coffee. Starbucks has sold more than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the past 10 years. Even the makers of Pringles are getting in on the action. While most pumpkin-flavoured treats should be added to the once-in-a-while list, pumpkin itself (not to be confused with artificial pumpkin spice flavouring) is actually one of the healthier foods of the season.

Low on calories and rich in fibre, eating pumpkin will keep you feeling fuller for longer, keeping your appetite at bay so you eat less overall.

A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Vitamin A ahelps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.

Based on the antioxidant content of pumpkins, many companies are now utilising its properties to make skin care products. Yes, that’s right — pumpkin can be applied topically, helping to increase cell turnover, resulting in smoother, healthier-looking skin. Of course, due to various antioxidants, pumpkin can also address signs of ageing.

Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature’s energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422. A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

Whether or not vitamin C can really ward of colds is still up for debate, but pumpkins are a solid source of the essential nutrient.

Pumpkin salad, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin beer — the options are endless, and endlessly mouthwatering. Whether you’re putting a pumpkin on your doorstep at Halloween or into a pie crust for lunch, it’s time to see this fruit as more than a once-a-year purchase.

Click here for the delicious Pumpkin and cranberry salad recipe pictured above.

#feedyourmind

Louise FitzRoy | Founder & Director
From Paddock to Plate

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What’s your favourite tropical fruit! Guava? Dragon fruit? Custard Apples? It is always intriguing talking with producers, from all walks of life, about how they grow their produce & their passion for feeding their communities. The importance of supporting & learning from Aussie food producers is rapidly becoming understood by those who eat. As educators, small business owners, parents, grandparents to sporting clubs, we must continue to encourage the population to shop local brands, connect with farmers and pass on these special moments to the next generations. ‍‍ Did you visit Farmers’ Markets over the weekend? Which ones? Let us know! #frompaddocktoplate #feedyourmind #shoplocal #farmersmarkets

5 days ago

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