Why Pumpkin is Your Ticket to an Excellent Bill of Oral Health

As we continue to battle COVID-19, flu season is upon us, and eating well is more important than ever. With flu season comes the holidays and the opportunity to indulge in the nutritious fall flavor of pumpkin. Nothing screams autumn like pumpkin, and lucky for us, the oral and overall health benefits of this winter squash are plentiful.

What makes pumpkin so healthy?

The smooth-skinned standard pumpkin that adorns your front porch it is different from the kind you cook up or buy in a can at the store. The nutrient-packed orange gourd, fresh or canned, replenishes your iron supply while also boosting your immune system with vitamin A and zinc and refuels your hydration with the fluids naturally present in fruits and veggies. When you add pumpkin-infused dishes to your holiday menu, you’re blessing your family with an abundance of fiber, beta-carotene, and potassium.

What makes pumpkin good for your oral health?

When pumpkin shows up on your fall menus, consider it a good thing for your teeth. Zinc not only supports a healthy immune system, but also strengthens bones and teeth, boosts gum health, and prevents plaque build-up. When vitamin A contributes to a healthy immune system, it’s also fighting off oral infections. Additionally, this multi-tasking vitamin aids in saliva production which helps to keep your teeth clean and protected from decay. And the magnesium present in pumpkin works to strengthen tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.

Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Snacks

Have fun and enhance your daily menus with both sweet and savory recipes that will add an extra dash of festivity and health to your holidays. If your kids like pumpkin-flavored treats, they’ll love these healthy snacks.

  • When carving pumpkins with the kids, set the seeds aside to roast later. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, so bake them in the oven with salt or a sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice mixture and enjoy them as a snack or save them to sprinkle on your morning bowl of oatmeal.
  • Add a scoop of pureed pumpkin to vanilla yogurt for a breakfast smoothie or an after-school snack.
  • Spice up your pancakes by tossing a cup of pumpkin puree in the batter. Get even fancier by topping the finished product off with a dollop of whip cream that has a cup of pumpkin puree folded in.
  • Another breakfast favorite is pumpkin oatmeal in which ¼ cup of pumpkin puree is stirred into the prepared oatmeal and drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • A simple snack with a festive twist is stirring pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice into cream cheese to spread on toast.

Right now, as we continue to navigate the pandemic and closeout 2020 in the healthiest, safest way possible, saturate your menus with everything pumpkin. Make it a game where everyone wins. Kids love the fun flavors, and adults love kids eating healthy. Pumpkin for the win.