5 Major Benefits of Canned Pumpkin

Make a stop at the canned goods aisle to pick up this delicious ingredient.

5 Major Benefits of Canned Pumpkin

While popular opinion suggests that eating a fruit or vegetable in its natural form is almost always more beneficial than eating the canned variety, when it comes to this vegetable, you can safely enjoy the canned kind without losing out on any vitamins or nutrients. When shopping for canned pumpkin, be sure to look at the nutritional label to rule out any added salt or sugar. A good bet when it comes to canned pumpkin is checking for "100 percent pumpkin" on the label. Avoid things like pumpkin pie mix or pumpkin spice mix because those can be loaded with chemicals and calories. Wondering why this vegetable comes so highly recommended? Here are five major benefits.

More: What to Look for When Buying Canned Pumpkin


Versatile

One of the best aspects of canned pumpkin is its versatility. Whether you prefer savory or sweet dishes, this vegetable offers a lot of flexibility in the kitchen. Muffins, soup bread, butter, hummus, cookies, oatmeal, mac and cheese, smoothies, and even lasagna can all benefit from a pumpkin twist. If you love getting creative with healthy recipes you will find endless inspiration here.

More: Autumn's Best Pumpkin Eats

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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