Pumpkin: The superfood of the season

Header Copy1

Only ever used to using pumpkin as a door decoration? Well it’s time you stopped missing out. Pumpkin is the ultimate autumn superfood. Packed with more nutrients and vitamins than you could imagine, it’s good for so much more than simply carving and lighting up on your front doorstep. From baking to breakfast and skin care to coffee, there are so many ways your health and training benefits from its natural goodness. Read more to find out how to make the most of the superfood of the season.

Health benefits

Rich in vitamin C, pumpkin will lower any chances of you catching the dreaded cold this fall.

90% water, high in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin keeps you fuller for longer and stops unwanted cravings between meals.

It’s one of the best sources of beta-carotene, an important antioxidant said to protect against asthma and heart disease.

Troubles sleeping? Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps put an end to restless nights.

Pumpkin-seed-oil is high in omega-6 and vitamin E. Therefore it can lower blood cholesterol and helps against heart diseases.

And of course, most importantly for athletes, it’s high amount of potassium helps your muscles to work more efficient and process training stimuli better. Good news for your performance.

Here’s what else it’s really good for

Carving a pumpkin this halloween? Whatever you do, don’t throw away the flesh and seeds! There’s so much you can do with it:

Soups

When the weather gets cold, the soup comes out. And pumpkin is up there with the best fall ingredients.

Curries

Try swapping chicken for pumpkin. Together with coconut milk, coriander, spinach, chilies and chickpeas, you’ve got yourself one hot nutrient explosion right there.

Salads

Baked pumpkin dices are the perfect high-fiber complement to your salad and a healthy alternative to croutons. Colourful, delicious and full of vitamins. Check out the recipe for baked pumpkin with quark sauce in the Freeletics Nutrition Coach. No time for baking? Pumpkin can also be eaten raw. Use grated pumpkin flesh instead of cheese!

recipes_pic_baked_pumpkin_with_quark_sauce_content

Skin care

Rich in vitamin A,C and E, pumpkin is ideal for skin care. Pureed pumpkin or pumpkin seed oil, mixed with organic honey and milk is a weird, yet surprising way of hydrating the skin and protecting it against cold weather.

Don’t forget the seeds

Ever tried roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven for a few minutes? It’s a whole new level of taste. Pumpkin seeds can be added to salads, soups or as a snack on the go.

Pumpkin spice muesli

Just what every athlete needs to return home to after a cold morning training. A self-made pumpkin puree with hazelnuts, ginger and cinnamon. Perfect for preparing in advance and freezing, so you can enjoy this tasty pumpkin not only in winter. For more inspirations check out the Nutrition Coach.

recipes_pic_pumpkin_spice_muesli_content

Smoothies

Added to any smoothie, pumpkin gives it a rich, warming taste, whilst still keeping you refreshed and quenching your thirst. Together with frozen banana, yoghurt and freshly squeezed orange juice, you have a smoothie that’s packed with vital vitamins for the coming winter.

Why not even add it to your coffee?

For most coffee lovers, fall is their favourite time of year. Why? 3 words: pumpkin spiced latte. It’s like the unofficial taste of autumn. Why not try making a healthy version yourself at home? Heat milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg and add it to your morning coffee.