You know it makes a delicious pie, but pureed pumpkin is more versatile than just filling for a pie. You can use it to make soup or bread, or add some to your mashed potatoes for color. You can also simply heat it up with a little brown sugar for a sweet vegetable side dish. However you like to eat your pureed pumpkin, there's no need to feel guilty about it. Canned pumpkin puree -- though not pumpkin pie filling -- is low in calories and good source of fiber and vitamin A.
Low In Calories
Canned pumpkin puree is a low-calorie food with 83 calories per 1-cup serving. Most Americans eat too many calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is one of the reasons why waistlines are expanding. And many of these calories come from foods that offer very little nutritional value. Pumpkin puree is not only low in calories, but is also high in nutrition. Plus, it's large serving size makes it a more filling food, which might better satisfy your appetite, and so you eat less, as a result.
High In Fiber
Eating pumpkin puree can help you meet your daily fiber needs. A 1-cup serving contains 7 grams of fiber. Women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 30 to 38 grams, so one serving of the pureed pumpkin meets 18 to 33 percent of your daily needs. Getting more fiber in your diet may help lower your risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, it helps improve digestion by alleviating constipation and helps you feel full faster so you eat less.
Good For Your Eyes
A 1-cup serving of pureed pumpkin contains more than seven times the daily value of 5,000 IU for vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for vision. It is also needed for a healthy immune system and assists with the proper functioning of your heart, lungs and kidneys. As a plant-source of vitamin A, the pureed pumpkin is also a source of beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that protects your healthy cells from damage by free radicals.
Rich In Iron
Iron deficiency is a major nutritional concern around the world, affecting nearly 80 percent of the world's population, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Eating pureed pumpkin can help you meet your daily iron needs. A 1-cup serving contains 3.4 milligrams of iron. Men and postmenopausal women need 8 milligrams a day, and premenopausal women need 18 milligrams. Iron plays a number of different roles in your body, but it's primary function is to help make hemoglobin and transport oxygen throughout your body.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Pumpkin, Canned, Without Salt
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight: Eat More, Weigh Less?
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: What Is Fiber?
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- Food Network: Pumpkin Puree