With the Thanksgiving season here, plenty of cooking pumpkins are available at your local market. But whether you are cooking with pumpkin only once a year via desserts, fresh pumpkin is both delicious and nutritious.
Did you know that pumpkin is technically a fruit? That’s because pumpkins grow on a vine and contain seeds. This fruit that masquerades as a vegetable- albeit a winter squash- is packed with nutrients. First off fresh pumpkins are high in water, and they also contain plenty of fiber. But pumpkin is also a good source of magnesium, vitamin C. and especially beta-carotene which gives pumpkin that vibrant orange color.
Please enjoy your pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but keep in mind some other versatile ways to use pumpkin in your diet. When fresh pumpkin is no longer available, make sure that you incorporate other varieties of winter squash into your diet over the next few months, or find an organic pumpkin puree to add to recipes.
Below are some ways to incorporate more pumpkin into your diet this holiday season and year round.
Monique Ryan is a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics with over 25 years of experience helping active people optimize their nutrition and body composition. Contact us at 847-864-8689 to schedule your consult. Ryan has worked with elite athletes in soccer, football, basketball, triathlon, cycling, and mountain biking.
She is the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd edition.