Pumpkins are so much more than just fall decorations. Almost every part of the pumpkin has health benefits. Pumpkin skin, pulp and seeds are all packed with essential vitamins, antioxidants and important dietary fiber. Best of all, both fresh and canned (yes — canned) pumpkin are good for you.

Don’t overlook the ease of using canned organic pumpkin puree, it is a nutritional powerhouse. Canned, organic pumpkin is low in calories, a good source of fiber and high in vitamin A. A one cup serving of organic canned pumpkin puree contains one-third of recommended daily fiber needs for women, exceeds the daily recommended about of vitamin A ,is a great source of beta carotene and even has 3.4 milligrams of iron. Who knew! Pureed pumpkin into your diet is a great way to get prebiotic fiber into your digestive tract, helping to support the beneficial bacteria strains working hard to keep your gut healthy.

Here are 4 great reasons to add pumpkin to your diet.

Pumpkin keeps you feeling fuller longer because it is high in fiber. Fiber is key for slowing down digestion, and pumpkin has seven grams of fiber per cup of puree, and only 50 calories. All that fiber also helps reduce blood glucose levels.

A cup of pumpkin puree has almost 200 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. All that gorgeous orange coloring is loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is a key nutrient for eye health and assists the retina in absorbing and processing light. Vitamin A also helps boost the body’s immune system and beta-carotene protects the skin from the sun’s damaging rays.

Vitamin A and vitamin C help protect cells against cancer causing free radicals. Because pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A and C, it can be part of a healthy diet to help prevent cancer.

Pumpkin seeds are high-fiber, nutrient powerhouses. Tiny and delicious, pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, a plant compound antioxidant. They also contain high doses of magnesium, zinc and Omega-3 fats.

The global economy has made it possible for people to eat their favorite fruits and vegetables all year long. It is beneficial to look at what you eat in this context. Out of all the foods available to buy and eat, you should make an effort to buy organic, non-GMO fruits, vegetables and foods. Within that category, you should try to buy from local sources and eat seasonally. There is a huge benefit to eating a wide variety of produce, and pumpkins make a delicious and nutritious addition to a colorful diet.

I am a passionate advocate for food as medicine, life navigator and culinary coach. This is my space for sharing what excites, inspires and motivates me to live my best life. It began as a recipe blog for nourishing, simple, weekday meals and has become something much bigger… a guide to resilient wellness. I am excited to share my knowledge of how daily habits can cumulatively help you to live like you mean it and age like you want to.