The term ‘superfood’ has been around for a few years as a way to describe a food that is high in nutrients. Superfoods tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than other foods, making them ‘super’ nutrient-dense. Pumpkin also happens to be a superfood, helping with things like weight loss and vision and providing more fiber in your diet.
As a provider of functional medicine in Los Angeles, here are some things to know about the health benefits of pumpkin and why it is a superfood:
> Superfoods are More Nutrient-Dense
The main reason pumpkin is considered a superfood is because of its high amount of nutrients. Many foods you eat will contain some types of vitamins and minerals, including processed snacks. Believe it or not, the bad often outweighs the good. With superfoods, you are eating more cleanly and going for those whole, fresh foods, but you are also getting a higher-than-normal amount of nutrients. Pumpkin is no different, which is why this fruit proudly has that superfood label.
> Pumpkin Has a High Amount of Nutrients
So, what vitamins and minerals does it have exactly? To start with, there are about 2.7 grams of fiber in a cup of pumpkin. This is the pumpkin you get from the fruit you get at home, where you cut it open and remove the flesh after disposing of the seeds and guts. You can either cut it into cubes to add to salads, cut it up for soups and other savory dishes, or turn it into pumpkin puree.
A cup of pumpkin also contains vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, B-6, folate, potassium, niacin, thiamin, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium, and copper. Our functional medicine doctors suggest you consume more of it as it is loaded with nutrients.
> It is Also Low in Macros
Pumpkin not only has a lot of vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy, but it is low in macros. Macros, or macronutrients, are typically what you track when following a diet. For example, your macros include calories, fat, and carbohydrates. They are on the lower side of the pumpkin, with just 50 calories in a cup of pumpkin and less than 1 gram of fat. There is no cholesterol and only about 12 grams of carbs, which is low compared to many other fruits.
Functional medicine Burbank believes you can easily use pumpkin in your current recipes to add extra nutrients without increasing fat or calories too much.
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