One cup of pumpkin contains more vitamin A than a cup of kale, more potassium than a banana, and more fiber than 1⁄2 cup of quinoa.
Serving Size: 1 cup, cubed
- 30 calories
- 0.1 g fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 1 mg sodium
- 8 g carbohydrates
- 0.6 g fiber
- 3.2 g sugar
- 1.2 g protein
- 197% DV vitamin A
- 17% DV vitamin C
- 11% DV potassium
- 5% DV vitamin B-6
- 4% DV iron
- 3% DV magnesium
- 2% DV calcium
- The fiber keeps you energized: One cup of canned pumpkin has about 7 grams of fiber, whereas kale has a little less than 3 grams. While both have a place on your plates, the fiber content of pumpkin will fill you up, help stabilize blood sugar, and keep your energy up throughout the day.
- The minerals help your heart: Pumpkin is loaded with blood pressure-regulating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re necessary for providing oxygen to red blood cells. Surprisingly, one cup of pumpkin packs 14% of your daily value for potassium, whereas one banana has 12%.
- The antioxidants boost immunity: Pumpkin is packed with beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A — an important antioxidant for visual acuity and skin integrity — as well as vitamins C and E, also important antioxidants for repairing your body’s cells from damage. Diets rich in antioxidants and potassium are also linked to helping reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds are filled with potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. They pack a super-satisfying combo of about 6 grams fiber and 7 grams protein per 1.5-ounce pack, which makes them a great snack for kids and adults alike. This combo of nutrients makes you feel fuller, longer.
Since not all pumpkin spice products are created equal, here are some guidelines on what to look:
- Choose products that actually have pumpkin as the first or second ingredient: For yogurts, ice cream, baked goods, and snack bars it’s a must; for cereals and spreads, a few ingredients down is okay on occasion.
- Look for as few ingredients and grams of sugar as possible: A single digit for grams of sugar per serving is always a good gauge. Dairy- and fruit-containing products may go a little higher since these contain naturally occurring sugar.
- Skip daily sugary beverages. Yes, that does include the pumpkin spice latte. My go-to alternative? Add 2 tablespoons of half and half to your regular cup of coffee and pumpkin pie spice to your heart’s content; sweeten as you normally would; and serve with a cinnamon stick for a festive but lower-calorie treat.