Pumpkin and Apple Health Benefits

Pumpkins at the Pee Dee Farmers Market in Florence, SC.

Pumpkins at the Pee Dee Farmers Market in Florence, SC.
Rural Health and Nutrition Team Picture Bank

With the fall season upon us, there are many familiar flavors and scents welcomed during the season. Pumpkin is a fall favorite that includes an array of health benefits. Apples are also a fall favorite, with many different varieties and health benefits that make them a great source of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.


  1. Pumpkins are great for eyesight and eye health. Their bright orange color comes from the beta-carotene in their peel, which provides a great source of Vitamin A. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, which improves immunity, decreases the risk of cataracts, and reduces the risk of disease.
  2. Pumpkins have a lot of potassium. Potassium helps to ensure blood pressure does not get too high or low.
  3. Pumpkins contain fiber, which helps with fullness and digestion. Fiber provides satiety and fullness, which can help lower the intake of other foods and lower calorie consumption.

To ensure the most benefit and nutrients from pumpkins this fall, enjoy them roasted or as an addition to recipes. Limit sugar and other processed ingredients commonly added to pumpkin recipes to lower sugar intake. This will also limit blood sugar spikes for people diagnosed with diabetes.


Apples are another fall favorite fruit that provides various health benefits while being delicious and full of flavor.

  1. Apple peel provides a lot of fiber and antioxidants. This helps to increase fullness and can lessen the risk of some cancers. Fiber also helps to improve digestion and increase fullness to last longer throughout the day.
  2. Apples are a great source of Vitamin C. Like pumpkins, apples help improve immunity and reduce the risk of illness.

There are a variety of healthy ways to enjoy apples, such as fresh, baked, and dried. Although apples are high in sugar, they can still be enjoyed in moderation. Enjoying an apple with some proteins, such as cheese or nuts, can help balance blood sugar levels to ensure they do not spike.

Pumpkins and apples are excellent sources of a variety of nutrients and health benefits. They can be added to baked goods, soups, or eaten along with other snacks. They are great components to add to sweet or savory dishes because they can add a lot of flavor and nutrients. Enjoy the featured recipe to try an easy snack that includes both apple and pumpkin.

Pumpkin Apple Protein Bars.

Pumpkin Apple Protein Bars.
Rural Health and Nutrition Team Picture Bank

Nutrition label.

Nutrition label.
Rural Health and Nutrition Team Picture Bank

Pumpkin Apple Protein Bars


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • ⅓ cup Canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Apple (peeled and grated (use the large hole on the grater))
  • ½ cup Old-fashioned rolled oats (no quick cooking)
  • ¼ cup Almond meal (almond flour)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder (reduced-carb, 18g protein per scoop)
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg whites, vanilla, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, pumpkin, applesauce, and grated apple
  3. In another medium bowl, mix together oats, almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and baking powder
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until blended
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Let cool before cutting and serving

For further knowledge regarding the nutrients mentioned, read the following articles on the HGIC website.

HGIC 4052, Fiber

HGIC 4069, Potassium

HGIC 4069, Vitamin C

HGIC 4080, Vitamin A


  1. Inspira Health. (2023, February 15). 5 health benefits of Pumpkin, the spookiest superfood. https://www.inspirahealthnetwork.org/news/5-health-benefits-pumpkin-spookiest-superfood
  2. Diabetes UK. Fruit and Diabetes. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/food-groups/fruit-and-diabetes
  3. BSc, A. A. (2023, July 12). Apples 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/apples
  4. Fruit. Fruit | ADA. https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/fruit
  5. Association, A. D. (2019, October 1). Pumpkin Apple Protein Bars. Diabetes Food Hub. https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/recipes/pumpkin-apple-protein-bars.html
  6. Hunter, O. A. G., Hunter, J. G., Cason, K. L., & Whitmen, R. (2021, August 13). Fiber. Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson University, South Carolina. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/fiber/
  7. Hunter, O. A. G., Hunter, J. G., Cason, K. L., Lane, E., & Fahmy, M. A. (2021, July 23). Potassium. Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson University, South Carolina. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/potassium/
  8. Hunter, O. A. G., Hunter, J. G., Cason, K. L., McFall, D., & Borden, A. (2021, June 14). Vitamin C. Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson University, South Carolina. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/vitamin-c/
  9. Hunter, A. G., Hunter, J. G., & Cason, K. L. (2007, July 26). Vitamin A. Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson University, South Carolina. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/vitamin-a/

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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