Unfortunately, superfoods (foods that are nutritionally dense and good for your health) don’t wear capes. It would be so much easier to identify them. To help spot these foods that provide health benefits beyond standard nutrients into your diet, Campus Dining is featuring a superfood every month at salad bars at 805 Kitchen, the Avenue and Campus Market. Also, our Registered Dietitian along with our culinary staff are giving demonstrations on how to incorporate these high-functioning foods in a fun and informative way.
· Canned pumpkin can be added to almost any meal. Try adding it to oatmeal for a hot breakfast filled with fiber!
· A pumpkin is actually both a fruit and a berry, belonging to the Gourd family.
· Pumpkin seeds are edible and can be roasted as a snack.
· Watch out! Your pumpkin spice latte hardly contains any trace of the fruit. Heat up some pumpkin and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on it instead.
Don’t let pumpkins fool you this year when they’re in their ‘jack-o’-lantern’ state, because this superfood is loaded with antioxidants and disease fighting vitamins that will leave you saying “Oh my Gourd!”
Ranging in size from less than a pound to more than 1,000 pounds, there are many benefits to eating pumpkin. The first benefit is its bright orange color. The power behind a pumpkin’s color comes from beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted to Vitamin A. On top of that, every single part of a pumpkin is edible: the skin, flower, pulp, leaves, and seeds. Plus, consuming one cup of canned pumpkin can provide about 200 percent of our daily recommended intake of Vitamin A. This ensures that your eyes, skin, and bones will stay healthy.
At your next pumpkin carving party, save the seeds! Pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan which is important in the creation of serotonin. This plays an important role in balancing our mood — especially for that big presentation coming up. With about 300 seeds to a pumpkin, they can make a great snack that will last you the whole week. Toss them on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and your favorite sweet or spicy topping. Get creative!
Coming from the Rec center? Refuel with some pumpkin soup as pumpkin is a great source of potassium (even more than a banana), which can help keep muscles functioning at their best.