Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin soup, grilled pumpkin — the options for using pumpkin in recipes are endless. Not only is the pumpkin Autumn’s signature squash, there are many powerful health benefits of pumpkin. For instance, did you know that pumpkin can help keep your weight in check? Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. And those roasted pumpkin seeds that most everyone loves are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Also a handful of those wonderful roasted pumpkin seeds may even help your outlook and mood since they help in the brain’s production of serotonin.
Autumn is such a great time to take a trip to your local “pumpkin patch” and pick up a few fresh pumpkins — oh, and don’t forget to invite your children/grandchildren or invite some neighborhood children to go with you. They will love the experience of picking out their very own pumpkin. Be sure to mention the many health benefits of pumpkin to help educate and steer their minds toward healthy eating.
13 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin
- excellent source of beta-carotene
- contains beta-cryptoxanthin which may decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers
- low in calories
- provides approx 246% of RDA for Vitamin A
- protects from “age related macular disease”
- rich in B-complex
- rich source of minerals like copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium & phosphorus
- good source of dietary fiber & mono-unsaturated fatty acids
- 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%)
- pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan which is converted to GABA in the brain
- anti-fungal & anti-parasitic properties
- natural treatment for tapeworms & other parasites
Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe
1 serving | always use organic ingredients when available
1 banana, frozen
1 C vanilla almond or coconut milk
1 C raw pumpkin, grated
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
freshly ground pumpkin seeds (optional)
stevia or raw honey to taste.
Combine ingredients in a high-powered blender until creamy. Enjoy and experience the health benefits of pumpkin!
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