Check your Health: Health Benefits of Pumpkins

File photo: KUTV

(KUTV) 'Tis the season for all things pumpkin spice. But why not skip the flavoring and go for the real thing?

Joy Musselman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, visited 2News to help educate viewers — and staff — on the nutritional benefits of pumpkins and their versatility in cooking.

  • Pumpkins (fresh and canned 100% pumpkin purees) have many nutritional health benefits including:
  • Great source of the anti-oxidant, beta-carotene, which protects against certain types of cancer, heart disease, and some of the degenerative diseases associated with aging.
  • Excellent source of fiber – in both the seeds and the flesh – which can help keep your gut, heart, and brain healthy and aid in weight loss.
  • Also a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium to keep the cells in your body functioning at their best.
  • Pumpkin is a very versatile cooking ingredient – use it in breads, soups, curries, pasta, and more! Don’t throw away the seeds – roast them for a wholesome snack.

Keep in mind that not all pumpkin products are healthy. Many pumpkin products including pumpkin donuts, lattes, candy, etc. are high in fat and/or sugar while not containing much actual pumpkin. It is important to look at the nutrition facts label to help you identify pumpkin foods that are healthier than others.