Photo: Photo by Ruth Georgiev on Unsplash / Unsplash
Autumn announces its arrival not only with the fall of leaves on the trees, it brings with it a succulent variety of seasonal foods. In many parts of the United States, it is the time that heralds the end of the year, a decrease in temperature and in a way the consumption of warm foods is craving more than ever. The good news is that these “comfort” foods don’t have to be a calorie bomb, or lead to weight gain. One of the most iconic foods of the fall season are the colorful and vibrant pumpkinsBest of all, nutrition experts have confirmed that it is a great dietary addition to benefit any weight loss goal.
Pumpkins: a nutritional treasure
Half a cup of pumpkin puree contains: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 0 g added sugars, 1 g protein.
Therefore, pumpkin puree is a great alternative to enjoy the nutritional benefits of pumpkin without much complication, since in many cases using the whole pumpkin can represent a slower preparation process. However, it is important to know how to choose the correct canned versions and above all without added sugar. Just read the nutrition labels before purchasing any canned version.
If you bet on enjoying the whole pumpkin, the first thing we have to say is that it is an incredibly rich vegetable in water. And that is why it is a superb dietary addition for weight lossIt is also creamy but low in calories and contains many essential nutrients that benefit health. In addition, it is important to add to its list of qualities its low content in natural sugars and extraordinary fiber content. It shines for its diuretic properties that promote the elimination of everything that the body does not need. are characterized by their content of beta-carotenes, which are the antioxidant substances responsible for its characteristic orange color and also its properties such as its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Its powerful antioxidants they are a wonderful ally to fight free radicalss, which are actively associated with an increased risk of developing various chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and various cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, integrating the consumption of pumpkin is not only nutritious, it is a great medicinal ally in the prevention of degenerative diseases.
Therefore, being rich in fiber, they slow down digestion and are therefore a food with great satiating potential. In addition, its water content makes the puree very light, but its creamy texture gives the opposite impression. They are a good ally to combat fluid retention, increase physical performance and accelerate metabolism, for greater context: There are 7 grams of fiber in a cup of pumpkin puree, it is more fiber than you would get from eating two slices of whole wheat bread, and all for 40 calories per serving.
Another genius is that the large amount of vitamin A that pumpkins naturally contain is of great help to strengthen the immune system and helps the body fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases. Pumpkin oil has even been proven to help fight various infections caused by bacteria and fungi. In addition, the pumpkin has almost the 20% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, an extraordinary ideal addition to protect us from the typical colds that autumn brings. Also, a single cup of pumpkin contains more than 200% of the daily intake of vitamin A Recommended for most people, making it a great option for optical health.
And if that weren’t enough, pumpkin reduces blood glucose levels, improves glucose tolerance and increases the amount of insulin the body produces. Therefore it is a safe addition to the diet of people with diabetes.
Pumpkin puree is a great dietary addition that allows us to take advantage of the benefits of this incredible seasonal product, as it can be successfully integrated into soups, creams, sauces, desserts, cakes, bakeries and stews. However, there is an important challenge, this fall: for the second year in a row, canned pumpkin is one of the edible products currently affected by shortages.
Fortunately, whole pumpkins aren’t just coming to fill our fall spirit with colors, they’re still a plentiful item at most large chain grocery stores and local establishments. What’s more, there are endless varieties of pumpkins, of different colors and sizes (the American, the Spanish green, the violin, the crooked neck), most of the pieces weigh from 2 to 8 kilos and of course, there are giant pumpkins that are worthy examples of competition.
The truth is that for many people it can be a great challenge, to buy the whole piece and take advantage of it at home, however it is time to break the myth. In case you can’t find canned pumpkin puree, roasting a pumpkin can be relatively easy and in fact some parts of the United States are used to enjoying them roasted: all you have to do is cut it into small sections, remove the seeds (consider roasting the seeds squash), then the squash segments are placed on a baking sheet with shallow water to keep the squash moist while roasting. Coming out of the oven they will be perfectly ready to be crushed and become a nutritious 100% natural pureel, you can also cut them into cubes and enjoy them in salads with a vinaigrette, make a rich pasta sauce or a comforting soup, they are also a great ingredient to prepare vegetable stir-fries.
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