Health Benefits of Pumpkin: Spice up Your Diet this Fall

You might instantly associate the word “pumpkin” with “pie,” but there many delicious and nutritious ways to incorporate this fruit (shockingly, not a vegetable) into your diet — without the extra dessert calories.

Canned pumpkin can be used for baked goods (see recipe below), mixed in with your oatmeal or as a base for a creamy, hearty soup. You can also roast a pumpkin and put the pumpkin spears in a salad (substitute it for butternut squash), in a stir-fry or try it by itself as a snack. Don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds, too.

Here are a few health benefits of pumpkin:

  • Enhance your Immunity: Healthline1 reports pumpkin can help strengthen your immune system because it’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and folate. These are all vitamins and minerals that help your immune system fight off germs.
  • Improve your eyesight: According to WebMD2, one cup of pumpkin can give you 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. This vitamin is important because it helps keeps your eyes healthy and strong.
  • Lower your blood pressure: Pumpkin is full of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure, explains WebMD.3 In addition, unsalted pumpkin seeds can raise the “good kind” of cholesterol levels (HDL), states WebMD.4

Skip Halloween candy and try these pumpkin spice muffins

Mayo Clinic5 shares a heart-healthy recipe for the fall.


  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Dietitian's tip

When baking, use Greek yogurt to reduce or replace shortening, oil or butter. This cuts fat and makes muffins extra moist and tender.


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 2 muffin tins with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, using a mixer. Mix ingredients until just incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each muffin well. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until muffins spring back when pressed lightly on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 204 calories; fat 4g; cholesterol 25mg; saturated fat 0g; carbohydrates 37g; protein 6g; sodium 132mg.

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  1. “9 Impressive Health Benefits of Pumpkin,” Healthline, last accessed July 27, 2022,
  2. “Health Benefits of Pumpkin,” WebMD, last accessed, July 27, 2022,
  3. “Health Benefits of Pumpkin”
  4. “Health Benefits of Pumpkin”
  5. “Pumpkin Spice Muffins,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed July 27, 2022,