When the holidays roll around, the scent of pumpkin fills the air as all manner of pumpkin dishes are prepared to serve hungry family members and guests who gather to give thanks. Fresh pumpkin is easy to come by when it’s in season, but what about the rest of the year? Fortunately, you can have canned pumpkin any time. It’s as close as the nearest grocery store. Is canned pumpkin healthy?
Is Canned Pumpkin Good for You?
Canned pumpkin is a good source of heart-healthy carotenoids that boost immune function and play a role in preventing some types of cancer. Some of these carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are converted into vitamin A in the body. In fact a single serving of canned pumpkin has three times the daily requirement of this vitamin that’s so important for healthy skin and eyes. Canned pumpkin is also a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin C. All of this for only 40 calories per serving and 5 grams of fiber.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin: Tips for Buying Canned Pumpkin
To get the health benefits of pumpkin from a can, look for a variety that has no added salt or sugar. Some people mistakenly purchase canned pumpkin pie mix, which has sugar added. This significantly increases the calorie and carb content. Make sure the label says “100% pure pumpkin” before dropping it in your shopping cart.
Is Canned Pumpkin Healthy: How to Get the Health Benefits
Add canned pumpkin to hot cereal in the morning for an extra boost of vitamin A, or spoon it into soup or chili. Make fresh pumpkin butter, or mix canned pumpkin with cream cheese and spices to make a bagel spread. Stir a spoonful into your morning coffee, or make a tasty smoothie using low-fat yogurt and milk. Canned pumpkin isn’t just for pumpkin pie. Keep a few cans in your cabinet to use when you can’t get fresh pumpkin.
Is Canned Pumpkin Good for You: The Bottom Line?
Canned pumpkin has a similar nutritional profile to fresh pumpkin if you buy it without added salt or sugar. Read the label carefully, and then enjoy its many health benefits.
World’s Healthiest Foods website.