For many people, one of the signs of fall is the appearance of pumpkin products. From pumpkin spiced coffee, candles, tea, cookies, candies, and even body products, pumpkin is everywhere this time of year. Putting all these mostly synthetic versions of pumpkin aside, did you know that real pumpkin is actually quite good for you? As a member of the winter squash family, this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable) is actually packed with nutrition. For the love of pumpkin, let’s take another look at this superfruit. And you’ve got to try my super yummy pumpkin pancakes!

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin contains an impressive lineup of vitamins, including vitamin A, C, K, B2, E, and even some minerals. It’s also very high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your body uses to manufacture vitamin A.

Carotenoids are antioxidants that are beneficial for the prevention of cancer and promoting eye health, as well as improving cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Additionally the fiber, potassium (vitamin K), and vitamin C are all heart-healthy vitamins.

Vitamin A (retinol) is also great for your skin. In fact, it helps protect against skin-damaging UV rays and contributes to maintenance of skin health and appearance. Plus, vitamin A helps to protect skin against the signs of aging. Retinol prevents transepidermal water loss, and stimulates collagen synthesis in skin. In this way, it can protect skin and even reverse some signs of aging.

Make it a Meal

These pumpkin pancakes deliver a hearty, warming breakfast by themselves. If you want an added boost of protein, serve them alongside Southwest Tofu Scramble.