Changing leaves, crisp air and pumpkins. As the season turns in the months of October and November, so do the aisles of the grocery store — now lined with everything from pumpkin bread to pumpkin shaped cookies. Besides the flavor of pumpkins, owner of Garden Valley Farmers Market Joshua Reading said there are also nutritional benefits from the orange plants.

To further understand the nutritional benefits of pumpkins, Reading describes that pumpkins have high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber which he knows from his experience of growing the fruit and selling it to customers every year. Reading said that on the farmers market website there are articles posted on how customers can cook with pumpkins and ways to integrate it into their diet to experience the benefits.

“I always tell customers to use the entire pumpkin because every part has its own benefits, especially the seeds to gain those healthy fats and omega-3s,” Readling said. 

Reading also said that pumpkins have high levels of Vitamin C and A, especially compared to other fall fruits on the market, such as potatoes and corn.

“The Vitamin C in the pumpkins is a great way to boost the immune system, especially for COVID and the flu,” Reading said. “Vitamin A helps with glowing skin and hair growth which is important to add into your dietary intake.” 

Sophomore Amelia Doll said her simple way to use pumpkin to reap its nutritional benefits, such as boosting her immune system in college and getting glowing skin 

“I enjoy making my own homemade pumpkin bread and muffins in my kitchen,” Doll said. “It is a really easy thing to make to boost my immune system and helps to get that perfect glowing complexion.”

Reading said the high volume of fiber that is within pumpkins is beneficial in one's diet, especially college students. 

“I notice that I forget about fiber and its importance sometimes as a dietary supplement,” Reading said. “It is able to keep our gut healthy and improve blood sugar levels.” 

Reading said it is sometimes difficult to get these essential vitamins and minerals when you're a college student. 

“In college it is hard to figure out what you are lacking in your diet,” Reading said. “Buying seasonal fruit like pumpkins is a great way to get those essential nutrients to boost energy and have a more satisfying meal.”

Like Doll, junior Sophie Lizmi said she enjoys putting pumpkin into her meals not only for the taste, but also for the nutritional benefits. 

“Pumpkin seeds are something I always have in my pantry even when it is not fall,” Lizmi said. “They are a quick snack to keep me full and have so many nutritional benefits.” 

Reading said some ways he includes pumpkin to gain the benefits and experience the delicious taste of this fall vegetable are making pumpkin bread and butter, and eating the seeds.