Embrace The Health Benefits Of Pumpkin This Season

The Perks Of Pumpkins

Don’t get too excited…we’re not speaking about pie essentially (although it has its place). We’re referring to the precise pumpkin, pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds. National Pumpkin Day is approaching on October 26, so what higher approach to actually eat in season?

The pumpkin is a member of the squash household and truly boasts many dietary properties that profit runners. Pumpkins are filled with antioxidants, as evidenced by their wealthy orange shade. They are additionally excessive in lots of different vitamins for runners, reminiscent of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium and fiber. While there isn’t a one meals that can offer you all the pieces you want nutritionally, pumpkins do have fairly a bit to supply.

Vitamin A

One cup of pumpkin supplies you with greater than 100 p.c of the every day really helpful quantity of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps type and keep wholesome pores and skin tissues and membranes, promotes good imaginative and prescient and enhances immunity. Running takes a toll on the physique and immune system, so getting sufficient vitamin A will help hold your physique heathy all through your coaching cycles.

Vitamin C And Vitamin E

Vitamins C and E are each pure antioxidants that assist improve the physique’s protection system and shield it from free radicals (substances that may trigger hurt within the physique). Like citrus fruits, pumpkins are very excessive in vitamin C, which can be concerned in immunity and restoration. Furthermore, vitamin C can help the absorption of iron, which may be problematic for a lot of feminine runners.

Iron is important for runners as a result of it attaches to hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen to muscle mass when working. Runner lose iron via sweat, intestinal losses, foot strike hemolysis and menstruation (for females). A serving of pumpkin can present practically 10% of your every day iron wants.

Potassium

You’ve most likely heard about potassium in relation to muscle cramping. Potassium is a key electrolyte for runners as a result of it really works with sodium to assist stability fluids in our our bodies. It’s essential for runners for that purpose, but additionally for its position in regulating blood strain, nerve transmission and muscle contraction. One cup of pumpkin puree provides 500mg of potassium, practically 15 p.c of the every day advice.

Copper, Folate And Magnesium

Let’s not overlook concerning the micronutrients that pumpkin provides, like copper, folate and magnesium. These are vitamins that we want in smaller quantities. Folate performs a job in vitality metabolism and in addition contributes to the well being of crimson blood cells, which assist ship oxygen to the working muscle mass. A deficiency in folate can result in macrocytic anemia, the place crimson blood cells don’t divide usually. Macrocytic anemia typically ends in fatigue, because the improper dividing of crimson blood cells means there are fewer cells to ship oxygen to muscle tissue. Magnesium is a cofactor in additional than 300 reactions within the physique, together with muscle and nerve operate, vitality manufacturing and muscle contraction. One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds offers you almost half of your physique’s every day magnesium wants.

Don’t underestimate how these vitamins can enhance your working. Fall is the proper time to incorporate pumpkin puree or pumpkin seeds in your meals and snacks. Add some pumpkin seeds to your yogurt, salads or path combine, throw pumpkin puree in a crockpot chili or make pumpkin soup. You may add some to your pasta or pancakes. Embrace the orange nutrient!

Pumpkin Nutrition Information

Canned Pumpkin (1 Cup)

  • Calories: 83
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fiber: 7g

Pumpkin Seeds (1/four Cup)

  • Calories: 170
  • Total Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g 

Sarah Schlichter is a registered dietitian and marathon runner primarily based in Charlotte, N.C. She works as a vitamin advisor and in non-public apply, the place she writes the weblog Bucket List Tummy, sharing vitamin posts, wholesome recipes, working ideas and all the pieces on her bucket record.

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