Guest Post by Brittany Raftis, MScFN, RDN  

If you’re like me, you grew up thinking that the only place pumpkin belongs in your life is on your front step on Halloween. Flash-forward a couple of decades and pumpkin is everywhere. It’s in our lattes, our favorite pastries, and even in our beer. Although it has exploded into a popular foodie trend, it turns out that there is actually nutritional benefit to adding pumpkin into your meal routine.

 Here are my three top reasons to fully embrace pumpkin season:

1. Get over 100% of your daily vitamin A requirement

 Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin found in most dark green and orange vegetables. Vitamin A is known to promote eye health, support the immune system, and encourage healthy skin. Get over 100% of your daily vitamin A needs with just 1/2c puréed pumpkin.

 2. Get a fiber boost

 Pumpkin is a high fibre food, with just 1/2c serving providing 4g of fiber. Getting adequate daily fiber is known to promote digestive regularity and bowel health. In addition, consuming foods high in fiber, especially when paired with protein, can help keep you full longer and regulate blood sugar after eating.

 3. Add color to your meals

 I’m a big believer in the importance of eating dishes that appeal to all of our senses. Meals that taste good, smell good, have a nice texture, and look good, are typically better enjoyed. Including pumpkin in your dishes will not only add a rich flavor and smooth texture, but its bright orange color will add visual appeal, rounding out your eating experience.

Brittany Raftis, MScFN, RDN is a Registered Dietitian and certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about providing realistic advice on healthy eating using a “keep it simple” approach. Brittany’s interest in nutrition stems from her experience growing up as a competitive hockey player, where she first learned the relationship between food intake and athletic performance.