Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Registered Dietitian, Melanie Douglass, shares some of her recipes to enjoy pumpkin in a more healthful way.


Pumpkin is a remarkable source of the powerful antioxidant beta carotene and also contains fiber, potassium, magnesium, and b-vitamins (just to name a few).

Pumpkin smoothies and roasted pumpkin seeds are two tasty ways to enjoy pumpkin without all the fat and sugar.

Pumpkin Smoothie

When you’re craving pumpkin—or a smoothie for that matter—this is one of the most nutritious pumpkin snacks you can find. With only 50 calories per serving and a powerful dose of beta carotene (which gives you more than 100% of your daily Vitamin A requirement), this thick and tasty smoothie squashes all the competition (in comparison to the other 250 – 600 calories smoothies sold in stores nationwide).

½ cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup low-fat milk or low-fat vanilla yogurt

½ banana (optional)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp brown sugar

4 – 6 ice cubes

Mix all ingredients together in the blender and puree to your liking. Makes three servings.

Nutrients per serving: 50 calories, 0 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 180% Vitamin A

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds (raw and washed)

Cooking spray (canola based)

Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Pull pumpkin seeds out of a fresh pumpkin and wash thoroughly. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread the seeds on the cookie sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the seeds with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 min.

Nutrients per ½ cup: 140 calories, 6 grams fat (healthier mono- and polyunsaturated fats), 6 grams protein, 2 – 4 grams fiber, 300 mg potassium


Have a health question for Melanie? Click here to submit your question and Melanie will answer your question on an upcoming Studio 5 segment!


By Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM

Author: Tip-a-Day Guide to Healthy Living

(Deseret Book, 2007)

© 2007 Melanie Douglass, Deseret Book

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