The keyword “canned pumpkin — yay or nay” is reigning in search engines recently, and we understand why. Many people doubt the healthiness of canned pumpkins due to some artificial ingredients used with them.
There’s a reason many consider canned pumpkin an essential ingredient in fall baking. It is full of nutrients (including fiber & vitamin A), tasty, versatile, and super convenient.
This varies from pumpkin puree, which is usually sweetened & contains spices like ginger, clove, cinnamon & allspice. It is usable in several pumpkin recipes, such as pies, soups, pumpkin breads & even lattes.
What Is A Canned Pumpkin?
People commonly ask if canned pumpkin puree is indeed pumpkin. The next time you hear this, say yes — at least, it’s yes most of the time. Often, it depends on particular brands. While some brands are reputable for their 100% pure pumpkin, other brands are known to include spices, sugar & preservatives to their products.
But the answer remains yes. Both are pureed cooked pumpkin.
The pumpkin’s flesh is the only ingredient used to produce puree, while the seeds & hard outer shell are thrown away. However, if you choose to carve & cook your pumpkin at home, it is advisable to use the seeds, as they are rich in nutrients like copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus & zinc.
Nutritional Value of Canned Pumpkin
You most likely know that pumpkin is highly tasty, much like muffins & breads can be. What you may, however, find surprising is how nutritious a can of pumpkin is. A canned pumpkin brand that’s 100% pure is a rich source of antioxidants, beta carotene, copper, fiber, iron, manganese & potassium.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a one-cup serving — which is 245 grams — of canned pumpkin offers the following:
- 83.3 calories
- 19.8 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.7 grams of protein
- 0.7 grams of fat
- 7.1 grams of fiber
- 38,135 international units of vitamin A (763% DV)
- 39.2 micrograms of vitamin K (49% DV)
- 3.4 milligrams of iron (19% DV)
- 0.4 milligrams of manganese (18% DV)
- 10.3 milligrams of vitamin C (17% DV)
- 56.4 milligrams of magnesium (14% DV)
- 505 milligrams of potassium (14% DV)
- 0.3 milligrams of copper (13% DV)
- 2.6 milligrams of vitamin E (13% DV)
- 1 milligram of pantothenic acid (10% DV)
- 85.8 milligrams of phosphorus (9% DV)
- 0.1 milligrams of riboflavin (8% DV)
- 0.1milligrams of vitamin B6 (7% DV)
- 29.4 micrograms of folate (7% DV)
- 63.7 milligrams of calcium (6% DV)
Canned Pumpkins — Yay or Nay? (BENEFITS)
Canned pumpkins are highly nutritious. They are, therefore, a yay for anyone. Let us look at some health benefits of this food.
Beneficial to the Eyes
Pumpkins are a remarkable source of vitamin A/beta carotene, a precursor with antioxidant qualities. Therefore, a half serving is more than enough to satisfy your daily vitamin needs.
Vitamin A encourages healthy eyes & vision and combats free radicals that may harm the skin & cause it to look older. Coupled with zeaxanthin & lutein (two other antioxidants in pumpkin), beta carotene helps to prevent cataracts & maintain sharp eyes as you grow old.
Rich Sources of Vitamin C & K
Apart from being a great source of vitamin A, pumpkin is also a rich supplier of vitamins with antioxidant properties, including vitamin C & K.
Vitamin C protects the tissues & cells from damage, mends skin cells & strengthens the immune system. When used with vitamin A, both will help avoid the formation of wrinkles & fine lines that are caused by sun exposure and promote collagen synthesis.
Meanwhile, diets dense in vitamin K are linked to a decreased risk of developing heart and bone-related diseases. It also assists in suppressing free radicals, thus reducing the risk of specific cancer types.
Dense In Fiber
Pumpkin is a full reservoir of dietary fiber (much like other winter squashes), which helps relieve constipation, regularizes blood sugar levels, improves digestive health & makes you feel full when you eat little.
If you’re looking to manage your weight, then pureed pumpkin will reduce added fats and sugars in recipes, as it is a healthy substitute for oil, cream, or cheese. Pumpkin low in calories & filled with water, and will help to satiate you easily.
Contains Heart-beneficial Potassium
Canned pumpkin is rich in minerals & electrolytes that promote the immune system and cardiovascular health. Common examples of these minerals are iron, magnesium & potassium.
Foods rich in potassium and magnesium help stabilize blood pressure levels and improve heart health, while iron is necessary to supply oxygen to the red blood cells.
Also, there’s a rich amount of manganese in pumpkin, and it prevents easy fractures & loss of bone density while also offering anti-inflammatory qualities that enhance joint, metabolic & cognitive health. Manganese also assists the body to absorb & utilize iron better, which may help to prevent anemia caused by low iron and regulate levels in the body.
May Be Eaten By Pets
If your pooch or pussy is whining for a treat, you can feed it canned pumpkins. The food is delicious and also filled with antioxidants & fiber. However, your pet should only eat brands of canned pumpkins that are unsweetened, as too much sugar intake can upset its stomach.
Recipes to Try Out
Canned pumpkins are already cooked, so you can eat directly upon purchase. However, they are tastier when mixed with spices & other ingredients.
When baking using pureed pumpkin, use a brand that is creamy & silky with a natural taste. Avoid brands sweetened with added sugar or that are too pulpy or gritty. You may also go for a deep orange make instead of pure brown.
When able to, replace some spices with canned pumpkins in the following recipes:
- Pumpkin bars
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin Marmalade
- Savory pumpkin recipes
- Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread
Takeaways From Canned Pumpkins — Yay or Nay?
I suppose pureed pumpkin is a must-have treat to take occasionally with the tons of benefits highlighted above. It is one of the rare packaged foods that contribute positively to health. The next time you come across the debate “canned pumpkins — yay or nay,” I think it is obvious where you’d stand.