The Herb Stop Blog
4 Incredible Pumpkin Health Benefits + How to Incorporate Pumpkin Into Your Life
Nothing is more quintessentially autumn than a pumpkin. Whether you’re carving pumpkins for Halloween, decorating with pumpkins for fall, or making a scrumptious pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, pumpkins are the perfect autumn food and décor.
However, pumpkins also have a huge host of health benefits. Today, we’re sharing some of the most incredible pumpkin health benefits and fun ways to use pumpkins this autumn.
Pumpkin Health Benefits
Pumpkin has so many health benefits that it definitely shouldn’t be relegated to just the autumn months. Fresh pumpkins and canned pumpkin offer similar health benefits. However, you must double-check that the canned pumpkin only contains pumpkin with no added sugar or other ingredients if you want to reap the full benefits.
Liver and Heart Health
Did you know that one cup of pumpkin has 14% of your daily potassium needs? Potassium is a critical mineral that our bodies need to support our hearts and blood pressure. In conjunction with magnesium and iron, potassium works to keep our hearts healthy, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pumpkin is also antioxidant-rich, making it an excellent choice for supporting healthier liver function. Antioxidants help the liver break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as filter harmful matter out of your body and bloodstream.
Inflammation & Disease Fighting
Pumpkin is well-studied and accepted among the medical community as having anti-inflammatory properties. An anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce your risk of arthritis, psoriasis, heart diseases, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and much more.
A study released by Cambridge University Press has also shown that pumpkin has the potential to fight certain diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and kidney stone formation.
A 2014 cross-sectional study also demonstrated that beta-carotene and other vivid green or yellow/orange fruits and vegetables slowed the progression of colon cancer.
Promotes Healthy Vision
Pumpkins and many other vibrant orange foods, like carrots, have a large amount of beta-carotene. Our bodies transform beta-carotene into Vitamin A, an essential vitamin that supports healthy and sharp vision.
Some studies have even shown that consuming beta-carotene and subsequently increasing how much Vitamin A is in your body may decrease or slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Supports Healthy Skin
The beta-carotene in pumpkin may provide some UV protection, although we don’t recommend eating pumpkin in place of wearing sunblock (or covering up)!
However, this added protection may help protect against sunspots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Vitamin C and Vitamin E in pumpkin may even promote more collagen production, keeping your skin looking younger.
Interested in adding pumpkin to your skincare routine? Try our Revitalizing Pumpkin Face Mask to rejuvenate your face, body, feet, or hands with pumpkin and alpha-hydroxy acids.
Fun Ways to Use Pumpkins This Autumn
Drink Pumpkin Tea
An easy way to reap the benefits of pumpkin is with a delicious pumpkin tea.
Try these incredible pumpkin teas out:
- Pumpkin Pie Herb & Fruit Tea: This caffeine-free tea blends the sweet taste of apples, hibiscus, and pomegranate with savory pumpkins, carrots, and cinnamon. The absolutely perfect pumpkin tea for autumn!
- Pumpkin Spice Black Tea: A fantastic caffeinated tea choice with notes of cinnamon and pumpkin. This tea contains lovely marigold flowers, making it a delight for your eyes too.
- Pumpkin Honeybush Chai Tea: This spicy, tangy, sweet pumpkin tea will delight your senses! This pumpkin tea is blended with a lovely herbal honeybush tea and complemented with cocoa nibs, cinnamon bark, and ginger.
Cook with Pumpkin
Everybody knows that pumpkin pie is delicious! However, there are many other ways to incorporate pumpkin into your cooking and baking.
We recommend our Pumpkin Pie Spice and Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder to make adding the flavor of pumpkin or pumpkin seeds to your food quick and easy. Here are our favorite ways to incorporate them into your diet:
- Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice on top of roasted veggies or pasta for a fantastic autumnal dish.
- Stir Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder or Pumpkin Pie Spice into your pancake or waffle batter to transform your pancakes from bland to sensational! Use approximately ½ teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice per cup of batter. We recommend experimenting with the milk-to-flour ratio when adding protein powder to your batter. In some recipes, you may be able to replace flour entirely with protein powder.
- Add Pumpkin Pie Spice to your baked goods, pumpkin pie, breads, and cakes for a warm, spicy finish.
- Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice or Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder on top of yogurts, oatmeal, and cereal to enhance the flavor of your food or give your food extra protein.
- Add Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder to your shakes for a yummy, high-quality protein source created from pumpkin seeds. Our Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder is gluten-free, vegan, and cholesterol-free!
- Mix Pumpkin Pie Spice into whipped cream or coffee for a flavored drink. Take this one step further and learn how to make a delicious DIY pumpkin spice latte. Flavored whipped creams are also incredible in your coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, smoothie bowl, fresh fruit, or chia puddings.
- Create your own toasted nut and seed mix seasoned with delicious Pumpkin Pie Spice and coconut oil. Add your favorite natural sweetener for a decadent touch!
- Add Pumpkin Pie Spice to your favorite soup or stew for a savory, rich taste.
- Bake Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder into homemade bread for an inexpensive and delicious protein-packed breakfast.
- Create the perfect autumnal granola bars or energy bites by adding Pumpkin Pie Spice or Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder to these healthy treats. This recipe by All The Healthy Things for No Bake Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites has our attention!
Decorate with Pumpkins
While decorating with pumpkins may not provide you with health benefits directly, it can be a joyful part of the autumn season! Here are a few of our favorite ways to decorate with pumpkins:
- Add pumpkins to outdoor steps or indoor stairs to add a splash of color. We recommend mixing several colors to keep this staggered look interesting.
- Create a pumpkin platter or centerpiece using mini-pumpkins
- Add small pumpkins to your Thanksgiving dinner table as festive décor
- Paint your pumpkins in a solid color or in multiple colors to create an ombre effect
- Create a beautiful pumpkin garland or wreath to hang in your home or on the front door
Looking for more autumn inspiration? Read our previous piece on Fall Herbal Favorites for autumnal cooking, aromatherapy, and tea recommendations.
We hope today’s piece gave you plenty of inspiration about different ways to incorporate pumpkins into your life and the many health benefits pumpkins provide us!
Natalie & Leilah