Try these tasty pumpkin-filled recipes from a DASH diet expert

  • The DASH diet encourages low levels of salt and lots of vegetables to address hypertension.

  • Pumpkin is great to eat on the DASH diet because it contains potassium, which lowers blood pressure.

  • A dietitian who specializes in the DASH diet told Insider her favorite pumpkin recipes for fall.

Pumpkin is a mouthwatering fall staple, and it's also an ideal addition for anyone following the blood pressure-lowering DASH diet. A registered dietitian who specializes in the diet told Insider her favorite ways to eat pumpkin for the fall.

The DASH diet encourages a low amount of salt, processed foods, added sugar, and saturated fat to lower blood pressure. It's a healthy diet even for people who don't have high blood pressure, because it includes lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

Pumpkin in particular is a great food to eat if you're trying to reduce your blood pressure because it contains potassium and fiber, said Danielle Smith, a registered dietitian working with dietitian network Top Nutrition Coaching.

Smith told Insider her favorite recipes she recommends to clients to help incorporate pumpkin into their diets.

Protein-packed pumpkin overnight oats

For this super-easy overnight recipe by Lauren Fit Foodie, add pumpkin puree and cinnamon to your overnight oats, along with protein powder and chia seeds, for a comforting fall flavor.

Smith recommends overnight oats because, she said, oats "contain minerals like potassium and magnesium, which can help regulate blood pressure. They are also rich in beta glucans, which have been shown to lower levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol," often referred to as "bad" cholesterol."

You can add walnuts for heart-healthy fats, or replace the maple syrup with monk fruit or stevia if you're looking to reduce sugar.

Pumpkin and turkey chili

This chili recipe by Danie Spies only takes 30 minutes to cook, and combines canned pumpkin puree with lean turkey, black beans, and warming fall spices such as cinnamon and cumin.

Smith said the pumpkin blends well with the other flavors, in addition to adding vitamin A and fiber to the dish.

This chili is also good for meal prepping in larger quantities.

Crockpot Moroccan pumpkin chicken

The pumpkin chicken one-pan recipe by Sun Kissed Kitchen requires all the ingredients to be sauteed in a frying pan and then cooked on low for four hours.

"This Moroccan dish blends sweet, warming spices with a little heat to add great flavor versatility to your weekly meals," said Smith.

It contains turmeric, which can improve indigestion and bloating, and ginger, which helps decrease inflammation.

Pumpkin, sage, and white bean hummus

Smith recommends a variation of this pumpkin hummus recipe by Rhian's Recipes, swapping out the chickpeas for white beans. Simply blend up the beans with some tahini, garlic, sage, and cooked pumpkin or pumpkin puree.

Substituting the chickpeas for white beans makes the hummus a strong source of potassium, which Smith said is a "key nutrient for blood pressure regulation."

She said this hummus is a tasty high-fiber snack when accompanied by chopped vegetables or whole grain crackers.

Pumpkin protein balls

These protein balls from The Conscious Plant Kitchen are flavored with pumpkin spice and will give you a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then roll handfuls into balls and leave to set on a baking sheet.

In addition to having all the health benefits of pumpkin, these balls contain 6 grams of protein each, which is the same amount of protein you'd find in an egg, Smith said.

Read the original article on Insider