National Pumpkin Day
Pumpkins – More Benefits Than We Think
October 26th marks National Pumpkin Day! Pumpkin is the fruit that grabs everyone’s attention in the fall. Most of us have already had our pumpkin picking day for the fall and we’ve been noticing pumpkin flavored everything in stores.
There are many other reasons pumpkin is becoming increasingly popular during all seasons, not just fall.
Pumpkins are made up of 90% water and one cup of pureed pumpkin has less than 100 calories, with a half a gram of fat. Pumpkin also has more fiber than kale, more potassium than bananas and are full of heart-healthy magnesium and iron. Pumpkin is loaded with several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall health. Pumpkin has an immense amount of vitamin C, which helps boost immune systems. They also contain vitamin A, that helps improve vision and reduce the risk of cataracts.
Over 1.5 million pounds of pumpkin are produced each year in the United States. The top pumpkin producing states are: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California. Studies have shown that 95% of pumpkins grown in the U.S. are harvested in Illinois soil. Morton, Illinois is allegedly responsible for 80% of the WORLD’S canned pumpkin production. (Nestle Libby’s pumpkin processing facility is in Morton, IL.) In 2017 alone, pumpkin-flavored sales totaled over $414 million.
The next time you see a pumpkin, remember all the health benefits they provide, not to mention the fun fall decorations they are known for.