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Health Benefits of Pumpkin

It’s that time of year again — pumpkin-flavored everything is here! Right now, pumpkins are plentiful and very easy to find. From pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin pies, it’s all delicious. But can you actually benefit from those pumpkin muffins? The answer is yes! There are many different health benefits of pumpkin.

  •  A cup of mashed cooked pumpkin contains over 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light.
  • Pumpkin is a great source of fiber. It has three grams per one cup serving and only 49 calories, meaning it’ll leave you fuller for longer with less calories.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols which have been shown in studies to reduce LDL, or “bad cholesterol.”
  • Pumpkins have the antioxidant beta-carotene which may help prevent cancer. Beta-carotene also helps prevent wrinkles.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is that famous ingredient in turkey that many believe puts them to sleep (although experts agree it’s just the over-eating that makes us sleepy). Tryptophan is important in the production of serotonin which boosts your mood!
  • A cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of the refueling nutrient potassium. Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.
  • One cup of pumpkin has about 20% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C.
  • Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that are very useful against the arthritis and joint inflammation.
  • Pumpkin seeds have a high zinc content which promotes prostate health.
Further Reading & References:
  1. Nutrition-and-You
  2. USDA National Nutrient database
  3. Beewellbuzz
  4. Huffington Post

This year, instead of buying pumpkins only to decorate your front steps, why not try this tasty and nutritious pumpkin recipe.

Superfood Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Recipe by Caitlin Covington @ www.greatest.com/health/superfood-pumpkin

What you’ll Need:
1/4 cup plain pumpkin purée (fresh or canned)
1/2 large frozen banana
1 to 1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Optional Toppings:
Crumbled graham crackers
Peanut butter (or any other nut butter)

What to Do:
Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding the almond milk as you go until
reaching the desired consistency.

Pour into glass and top with desired toppings & ENJOY!

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