Foods That Will Change Your Life: Pumpkin

Breathe easier, as pumpkin helps protect your lungs 

Originally from the Americas and actually a type of winter squash, pumpkins offer a lot of health benefits. As a great source of vitamin C, fibre and, particularly, beta carotene they are superb for healthy digestion, better vision and a strong immune system. Available year round, these gems of nutrition make the perfect addition to anyone’s diet but can be especially beneficial for women’s health.

Foods That WIll CHange Your Life PumpkinCarotenoids such as beta carotene, which our bodies turn into usable vitamin A, have been shown to be highly protective of the lungs, especially in smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. By fight- ing free radicals, they are able to assist the body in removing dangerous toxins and ward off other lung-related diseases such as emphysema – conditions that are unfortunately increasing in the female popula- tion. Add folate, a vital B vitamin that pregnant women need and which pumpkins contain in a good amount, and you have another reason to explore the various ways you can consume pumpkin.

It also packs a beneficial punch for men. Researchers from Perth have found higher intakes of carotenoid-rich foods such as pumpkin are linked to a lower rate of pros- tate cancer. A high intake of carotenoid-rich pumpkin and carrots reduced the risk of having elevated haemoglobin A1c levels, a measure of diabetes, by nearly 50 per cent!

Pumpkins will stay in cold storage for a long time while. For cooking, smaller varieties are definitely the way to go.

Easy ways to get pumpkin into your diet

  • Cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast in the oven with a little olive oil and seasoning for a side dish.
  • Turn pumpkin pulp into a delicious soup with the addition of carrots and aromatic spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Toss pumpkin seeds with salt and olive oil then roast in the oven until golden and crisp for a handy healthy snack.

50 Foods That Will Change Your Life


Extract from the book 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life – A Women’s Guide to Health and Vitality by Emma Sutherland and Michelle Thrift. Photography by Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $35.



And the winners are… Kelly Ryan and Natalie Stoute! Thanks for your entries, we hope you enjoy your copies of 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life.

This week, we’re giving away two copies of 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life – A Women’s Guide to Health and Vitality, worth RRP $35 each. 

Now, here’s how you can enter to win!

  1. Sign up to enewsletter (if you haven’t already).
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  3. Join in the comments below and tell us: what’s your favourite healthy food and why? 

*Competition opens 6.00am Monday 26 August 2013 and closes 11.59pm Sunday 8 September 2013. Open to Australian residents only. Only one entry per person. The winner will be announced here at on or before 12.00pm Friday 13 September 2013, and contacted using the email address provided with their entry. For full terms and conditions, click here.

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53 comments on “Foods That Will Change Your Life: Pumpkin”

  1. Sharon

    Pumpkin, as it’s very delicious, nutritious and versatile to consume. It’s very filling, has plenty of health benefits and stores well.

  2. Marlene Tham

    Blueberries are just the ultimate superfood. Filled with anti-oxidents and macronutrients, not only do they look great on a dessert or in a fruitbowl, they help your heart and reduce cancers. Powerful little balls of immense goodness.

  3. Terry Chong

    Walnuts. They are like tiny pockets of power and make the perfect snack. Full of vitamin E and omega-3 , they have amazing anti-inflmmatory and cardiovascuar benefits. And best of all…they taste delicious.

  4. Belinda Bann

    Weeds! your backyard could be a gold mine if you know what to look for! young dandelion leaves in omlettes, stinging nettle tea (full of silica for hair and nails) and pretty nasturtiums flowers brighten up any boring salad – all of them valuable, nutrient rich foods!

  5. Natalie Stoute

    Kale. I’ve recently tried and also cooked Kale chips and OMG, they are sooo good! Kale is so versatile as well, I put it in curries, steam with veges, substitute for spinach in breakfast dishes, and throw in a stir-fry! Only problem is that it can be hard to find. Might have to grow my own!

  6. LConroy

    I love sweet potato roasted with as little fat as possible – especially when it caramelises and is sticky-chewy

  7. Alicia L

    Apples – they’re so versatile! Lunchbox addition; baked into healthy items; dried for yummy snacks; so many options for the humble apple!

  8. kylie wrigley

    almond meal! best way to replace flour for a gluten free alternative when baking! so moist and delicious!

  9. kaz reimann

    For me it’s broccoli – standing steamed florets up in the kids’ mash and calling them little trees; to eating blanched stems with dips at parties, I adore this versatile veg and its’ vast range of health giving properties x

  10. Michelle W

    Actually, it’s pumpkin and you’ve now got me craving it! It’s so versatile and one of the few veges which can be also used in sweet dishes. My favourite, though, is roasted pumpkin with the skin on and tossed with rice bran oil, honey, feta and pine nuts.

  11. Kelly Ryan

    Oats, I love them in Winter and in Summer I have them in my smoothies to keep me fuller for longer and ensure I maintain a good milk supply!

  12. Karlene

    Vermicelli cold rolls….lots of salad, cold meat and vermicelli wrapped in a rice paper roll. Quick, easy and delicious.

  13. jarree shelverton

    My favourite health food is blue berries, I just love the way they “pop” when you bite into them.

  14. chloe taura

    Eggs!!! :-) definitely my families super food. I use it in pretty much everything! Breakfast, Lunch and dinner food! Yummo

  15. Lauren A

    Oat bran. I love to bake it into cakes and bread to help with cholesterol levels.

  16. Merridy

    Oats, made into daily porridge, Anzacs, apple crumble topping. Helps my cholesterol levels 😉

  17. Kerry-anne Doughty

    I love the versatility of pumpkin, because it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes, and the seeds are an easy and healthy snack. Favourite recipe is my Pumpkin and Peanut Pate, because it’s cheap and easy to make, it freezes well and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it.

  18. Rochelle

    Chia seeds! They can be used as an alternative to butter, and they taste great in smoothies. They also make your nails and hair shine, and your skin glow!

  19. Kirsten W

    I love mangoes. They are so versatile and can be used for any meal. They always remind me of the fun, happy, relaxed days of summer. If only they weren’t so expensive!

  20. Christina

    Any fruit, nuts or vegies that are grown in our garden. The macadamia’s are certainly a family favourite.

  21. Jennifer B.

    BLUEBERRIES!… Fat-burning, anti-aging, cancer-fighting, vitamin and mineral rich little bursts of sweet and versatile DELICIOUSNESS!!!


    At the moment it’s Piri Piri Salmon, and chilli sprinkled on grilled vegetables. Great for losing weight and keeping your brain healthy.

  23. Nicole C

    I love vegetables!! Mushrooms and pumpkin are definitely my favourite though. Pumpkin can be cooked in so many ways!

  24. Kathy Clark

    I love a plate full of Brussel Sprouts with a little pepper, my mouth is Watering now just thinking about it

  25. Melissa Wilkes

    Eggplant and mushrooms, together or separate they can supplement any meat dish and taste amazing!!!

  26. Noleen

    I love pumpkin, boiled, mashed, roasted or in a soup…I used it instead of potato on shepherds pie. I add it to my scones and I make pumpkin bread. Best of all I grown it in my garden :)

  27. kerry horvath

    I love all fruit, veggies, and especially salads. I love encouraging my kids to eat healthy…..and also teaching them the benefits of fresh healthy food.

  28. Christine Gleeson

    I love cooking with fresh meat and fresh vegetables. My favourite vegetable is bok choy.

  29. Nicola James

    I love oats, and I have been having them for breakfast most of my life, and I am in my 60s!

  30. Nola Goodwin

    I love fruit and veggies, most of all I love Pumpkin soup. I add sweet potato to my soup.

  31. Amber Boyce

    I love berries – especially Raspberries and Strawberries

  32. Marina M

    Cauliflower – healthy, filling, tasty and full of vitamins and minerals. It is so versatile that you can even use it as icing on cupcakes. Just mix it with icing sugar and no one will ever know they are eating vegetables on a cupcake.

  33. rochelle

    As much of a ”health junkie” as it makes me sound, I honestly love chia seeds! They are so delicious and keep me full for longer, can add them to just about everything, can be used as a substitute for butter and they have made my skin glow and my nails so strong and shiny!

  34. Fiona Connell

    I love Strawberries and Chobani Greek Yoghurt… I can have them for brekkie or dessert, or even a snack. It makes you feel not only healthy but fresh and satisfied.

  35. Tory Huth

    Strawberries. To me there is nothing better than a morning out with my kids picking our own strawberries. Then going home and eating them plain or with yoghurt and granola.

  36. Narelle Rock

    I love atlantic salmon, especially with crispy skin served over a bed of mashed sweet potato with a side of green beans.

  37. sharron

    I change every few months at the moment i am loving fresh home grown beetroot

  38. Heather Hopley

    I could live off a diet of fruit -dried and fresh, and nuts. Unfortunately like all things I have to remember that I must eat them all in moderation. But really… have you ever eaten fresh dates with walnuts? Resistance is futile!

  39. Jodie

    Vegetables, what’s not to love…they are so versatile and most meat based dishes can be adapted or supplemented…but the best part is that they are the basis of so many national cuisines…a healthy cultural journey!

  40. Rachael Rowberry

    I love all my veggies but my family favourite is Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Damper bread. Pumpkin is perfect to add to a lot of meals. YUM. To change your life via food is a no brainer

  41. Monique

    I love broccoli!! I love it every which way – steamed, roasted, pureed with some sour cream. I pretty much have it with every dinner – and the health benefits are excellent!