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Move Over, Pumpkin Spice Latte! Harness the Cancer-Fighting Power of Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

October 25, 2023

Pumpkin spice chewing gum? Yes, that is actually a real thing! Now that fall is in full swing, pumpkin-flavored food is seemingly everywhere, from coffee to pie to popcorn and even gum.

However, pumpkin is more than just a sugary fall flavoring — it is also a powerhouse ingredient full of nutritional benefits and cancer-preventing properties. This versatile gourd can be the perfect addition to any sweet or savory meal, upping the vitamin and mineral count while tasting great.

Check out the anti-cancer properties of pumpkin:

  • Fiber: Fibrous foods like pumpkin help keep the digestive system healthy, which can aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and reduce colon cancer risk. A Harvard study found that eating more fiber reduced the chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Antioxidants: Oxidation is a process that can damage DNA and increase cancer risk. Antioxidants reduce the risk of DNA damage. The body needs external sources of antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and E, which is exactly what pumpkin delivers.
    • Beta-carotene: Pumpkin is one of the highest sources of beta-carotene, delivering 17mg per 1 cup. In the body, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, an essential nutrient and antioxidant. High levels of both are linked to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.
    • Vitamin A: One cup of cooked pumpkin contains a whopping 245% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A! A recent study suggests that higher intake of vitamin A is associated with lower risk of developing skin cancer. 
    • Vitamin C: Some studies suggest vitamin C derived from food can prevent the development of pulmonary and breast cancer. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 19% of the vitamin C you need in a day.
  • Magnesium: Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of magnesium, a mineral that most Americans do not get adequate amounts of. Magnesium improves the immune system’s ability to eliminate infected and cancerous cells.
  • Low-calorie: Pumpkin is a low-calorie food, which can help reduce the risk of obesity, a factor in many types of cancers. However, since it is high in fiber, it can keep you feeling fuller than other low-calorie foods.

Start incorporating pumpkin into your fall routine with this quick and delicious recipe for pumpkin spice overnight oats. This dish is also easily portable, so cancer patients or caregivers can bring them on the drive to treatment or have them as a snack in the waiting room or infusion chair.

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Servings: 1 (Double the ingredients to make extra)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any type of milk)
  • 1/3 cup plain, reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree (no sugar or salt added)
  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Stir together all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Add to a mason jar or other container with a fitted lid.
  3. Refrigerate and store overnight. 
  4. Enjoy in the morning!

Nutrition Facts

Per serving: 340 calories, 7 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 270 mg sodium, 17 g sugar, 12 g added sugar.

Click here to download the recipe card

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