Many of us are making an effort to maintain our health and slim down in preparation for the upcoming cold and flu season and winter getaways to warmer climates (so we can actually fit into those bikinis that have been sitting in the closet since summer). No matter your motivation, now is a great time to prioritise your health by making some serious dietary changes. Pumpkin, a popular fall food, has been shown to improve immunity and facilitate weight loss, and is just one example of the many delicious and nutritious foods available.
We talked to Paulina Lee, MS, RD, LD, founder of Savvy Tummy, and Eva De Angelis, RDN, health and nutrition writer, to learn more about the benefits of this seasonal fruit. Read on for their combined wisdom.
When you mention “fall foods,” who doesn’t immediately think of pumpkin? Fortunately, this fruit is not only a delicious seasonal treat, but also has many health benefits.
Pumpkin for immunity
So, aside from its undeniably delicious flavour, what makes pumpkin such a great addition to your diet? The high levels of vitamins C, E, and E in this fruit are responsible, say the experts, for its ability to strengthen the immune system. De Angelis tells us that all these vitamins can help strengthen our immune system and reduce cell damage from free radicals, fight infections, increase white blood cell production, and speed up the healing of wounds. That’s what Richards has found as well: “This combination aids in boosting the immune system and protecting against chronic conditions as well.”
Good news, too, for fans of pumpkin spice: according to Richards, the spices that make up this blend “contain the same beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants found in the pumpkin itself,” meaning you can almost rationalise eating an extra piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving if you leave out the sugar.