Fall is wonderful for many reasons, especially the opportunity it gives for improving our health through nutrition. Christopher Pullen RDN, LDN with Total Nutrition Technology, says fall can be challenging for our health with the release of limited-edition sugary drinks, holidays centered around food and shorter days keeping us indoors. Despite this, he says fall is a wonderful chance to include in our diets some amazing fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet that are unavailable other times of the year. Below he shares the numerous health benefits of pumpkin.
Great source of healthy carbohydrates
Even though pumpkin tends to be included in a lot of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, it isn’t high in carbohydrates on its own. In fact, one cup of mashed pumpkin comes in at under 15 grams of carbohydrates and is an excellent source of fiber.
High in vitamins and minerals
Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, which plays a big role in supporting our vision and immune system. It also supports our immune system as a good source of vitamin C.
Inflammation in the body can be incredibly destructive. It is one of the things registered dietitians focus on combating with our clients. Pumpkin happens to contain several compounds that help our bodies fight inflammation. One of these compounds are carotenoids, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Other carotenoids in pumpkins include lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect our eyesight.
We know pumpkin has some great benefits for our health when we include it in our diet. There are plenty of pumpkin-flavored items in the fall, but how can we include it in our diet? To help you get started using pumpkin in some of your dishes this fall, we’ve included a tasty yet healthy recipe for pumpkin spice overnight oats that can help us get a great start to our day.
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
Ingredients (add to mason jar or container)
- ½ cup uncooked oats
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning (sugar free)
- 1 cup milk or almond milk
Directions: shake to mix, put in the fridge overnight, when the morning comes the only thing left to do is enjoy.
About Total Nutrition Technology
Total Nutrition Technology’s comprehensive approach addresses the entire individual and their needs. We also use medical nutrition therapy to get to the root cause. Total Nutrition Technology partners with UNC Charlotte to offer virtual nutrition counseling to University employees. They are in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the UNC System’s State Health Plan, with visits often covered at 100%. For more information and to set up an appointment, email email@example.com or call 704-549-9550.