Pumpkin: A Health Food!
Pumpkin is of high nutritional value. Not only does it offer versatility and convenience, but it can be considered a "health food".
Pumpkin is a high source of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Research has shown that beta carotene rich foods help lower the incidence of some cancers. Vitamin A also plays a role in good vision, healthy skin, a strong immune system, and bone and teeth development.
Pumpkin is also a good source of Vitamin C which helps to fight infection. Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient which needs to be replenished in the body, daily. Pumpkin is high in dietary fiber, which is often lacking in American diets. Fiber is important for proper digestion and elimination. Pumpkin contains about 40 calories per 1 cup serving.
Availability of Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin is on the grocery shelf, year round. When selecting fresh pumpkin, look for one that is firm and heavy for its size with a bright color. Rinds should be free of cracks, bruises, and decay.
Store pumpkin in a cool (50 to 60 degrees ) dry area. Pumpkin will keep for several months if mature and stem is attached. One pound pumpkin (flesh) or other winter squash is equal to approximately one cup cooked pumpkin.
Adapted from various sources including Libby news releases and The Ohio State University's Ohio Squash and Pumpkin fact sheet.