NEW YORK (CBS) — We are deep into pumpkin season, and if you’ve found yourself digging into pumpkins a little too much — you’ll like this news.
Some dietitians say pumpkin is a superfood packed with nutrients.
Sam Weber and his son Felix have their cart at Stop and Shop in Clifton, New Jersey, filled with plenty of pumpkin.
“It’s one of those things we always have stocked. We put it in our chili, we put in a bunch of mixes; we do the pumpkin pie,” Weber said.
Pumpkins are a fun, fall favorite but Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic, says the autumn staple is also a superfood packed with nutrients.
“It’s high in fiber, which helps with blood sugar management, helps keep you more satisfied, helps with gut health and digestion. It can also help lower bad levels of cholesterol, it’s very low in calories,” Zumpano said.
Pumpkin is also a good source of antioxidants like vitamin A and C, which protect our cells from damage.
“Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, which can be used in the body for multiple great benefits with skin and immunity, and can help with overall bone health. We know potassium can help lower blood pressure,” Zumpano said.
Zumpano says it’s easy to incorporate more pumpkin in your diet, from muffins to pancakes or breads.
“Canned pumpkin on its own with no other added ingredients can be added into our foods, but you want to avoid purchasing foods that may have a lot of sugar or added fats that are pumpkin flavored. They may not actually contain a significant amount of pumpkin,” Zumpano said.
And don’t forget the seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of fiber and protein are also a good source of vitamin E and zinc, which can also help with immune health.