• Dr. Caroline Ricker

Got Pumpkin? Our top ways to enjoy pumpkin and still stay healthy!

It’s definitely that time again. Chilly mornings, leaves starting to turn…and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! I love pumpkin too, but some of these things are so stinkin’ full of sugar that it’s hard to enjoy them without a load of guilt coming right along with. The great news is that pumpkin is actually really healthy for you!

So this week we’ve taken it upon ourselves to bring you some healthy but super delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin this season!

I’m hesitant to tell you this, lest it throw you off your pumpkin obsession, but pumpkin is actually a vegetable. Well…technically it’s a fruit, but its nutritional profile matches that of a vegetable so that’s what we’ll consider it here. Plus, if you threw some raw pumpkin on a fruit tray I don’t think it would be well received.

Pumpkin being a veggie is actually really exciting! That means something that you love actually has some nutritional value! Here are some of the health benefits of pumpkin:

1. Nutrient dense. It has a ton of vitamins and minerals with a comparably low number of calories. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

2. Packed with Vitamin A. Pumpkin contains a lot of beta-carotene which our body turns into vitamin A. Since there aren’t a ton of natural sources of beta-carotene, recent research is showing that many people are low in this important nutrient. Vitamin A has been shown to be beneficial for immune health, eye health and reproductive/fertility health.

3. HUGE digestive benefits. I am a particular fan of pumpkin for its excellent digestive benefits. If you follow our posts, then you know I’m kind of a nut about all things gut related, so I’m pretty particular about which foods are really healthy for the gut. While pumpkin is still a carbohydrate, unlike many other carb veggies it carries a lower sugar/carb/calorie count and therefor causes less problems in the gut. Not only that but it’s also loaded with fiber which we all know is great for keeping your digestive system moving and grooving.

4. Lots of Vitamin C. At this time of year, we can all use an extra boost for our immune systems and vitamin C has been shown to have quite a few benefits in keeping us nice and healthy! Pumpkin contains a high level of vitamin C and can help you keep your levels up!

Pumpkin is so versatile and has so many health benefits, there’s no reason not to use it year round. The advantage to using it this time of year is that it’s in season and so easily obtainable. So on that note, here are some amazing recipes we love to get us through fall and winter!

Let's start with the Pumpkin Spice Latte. A medium size one of these babies will run you about 380 calories and 50 grams of sugar!!! And they're delicious. So here's a healthier version you can make from Amy's Healthy Baking. It's loaded with actual pumpkin, anti-inflammatory spices, and can be make dairy free!

Click here for the recipe!

Looking for that perfect cozy fall soup? Look no further than this recipe from Live Love Fruit! This creamy pumpkin soup is full of fresh pumpkin and delicious spices and made creamy with rich coconut milk. Not only is it good for you, but it's super tasty and satisfying!

Click here for the recipe!

Fall is certainly the time for chili! If you're having the crowd over for the big game, or just planning a cozy night in, this healthy turkey chili adds in pumpkin for a tasty twist on this classic dish! Recipe cred to Isabel Eats.

Click here for the recipe!


Dr. Caroline Ricker has been passionately helping people avoid unnecessary medications and surgeries since 2009. She combines a very logical functional medicine approach to digestive disorders and more using a more alternative holistic approach, utilizing standard lab tests and in-office evaluations as well as nutrition, acupuncture and homeopathy.

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Whole Health & Wellness

10807 Big Bend Road

St. Louis, MO 63122

P: (314) 269-3847

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