Food for Thought: Pumpkin vs. Sweet Potato – Who Wins the Nutritious Fall Battle?

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Two delicious, and very similarly tasting, foods of fall – pumpkins and sweet potatoes – are both popular, but which one packs more of a nutritional punch?

Here we put these two fall favorites to the nutritional test…

Reducing the risk of chronic disease:

High amounts of beta-carotene are found in both pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Experts say that diets high in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protects against heart disease. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 5,140 micrograms of beta-carotene and one cup of cooked sweet potatoes contains 31,000 micrograms of beta-carotene. Winner? Sweet potato.

Immunity-boosting vitamins:

Both pumpkins and sweet potatoes are both rich in vitamins that boost immunity, like vitamin A. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 245% RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin A and 19% RDI of vitamin C.

Yet sweet potato knocks pumpkin out of the park with one cup providing 774% of vitamin A and 53% of vitamin C. Winner? Sweet potato.

Gut Health:

Good sources of fiber encourage a healthy gut. With 8.2 grams of fiber in one cup of sweet potato, this one once again beats out pumpkin with only 3 grams of fiber. Winner? Sweet potato.

The Final Result?

Although both vegetables are great fall food choices when you place them in a side-by-side comparison, sweet potatoes edge out pumpkin due to its nutritional make-up from vitamin A to fiber to protein. Pumpkin is a light, lower sugar option, but if you want a heavy, nutritious food that gives your body more nutrients then sweet potatoes is the choice to make.

Winner: Sweet Potato.