Pumpkin is a quintessential symbol of the fall season. Chances are that your favorite fall dishes include pumpkin as an ingredient – or feature it as the star of the plate. In addition to being delicious, pumpkin also provides a variety of oral health benefits that may help balance the sugary excess of Halloween candy.
Pumpkin contains vitamins and minerals that help keep your mouth in shape for fall dinners and desserts, including:
- Iron: Found in pumpkin seeds, iron keeps your tongue and gums healthy and helps prevent anemia, which can also affect the tissues in the mouth.
- Magnesium: Magnesium works in tandem with calcium to help strengthen bones and teeth. Just 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds fulfills 35 percent of your daily magnesium needs.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin helps with maintaining gums. A single cup of pumpkin will satisfy over 200 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A.
- Zinc: Zinc helps replenish the lining of the gums, especially in areas right next to teeth.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C fights off infection and inflammation of your gums. You can find 20 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in 1 cup of pumpkin.
It’s especially easy to get all of these essential vitamins and minerals into your diet during the autumn months. You’re probably familiar with classic pumpkin munchies like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and roasted pumpkin seeds. This season, try a few unusual, delicious ways to include pumpkin in your fall recipes:
- Need a quick on-the-go meal or a post-workout refresher with seasonal flair? Look no further than this pumpkin smoothie.
- Try a pumpkin shrimp curry for a savory, sweet and altogether mouthwatering seasonal take on a classic Asian dish.
- Get your fill of rich, comforting fall treats with this recipe for pumpkin protein fudge – no chocolate required!