Pumpkin flavoured coffee and pumpkin scented candles are ubiquitous as we get into the fall season. But other than pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, most of us don’t eat pumpkin as a regular part of our diet. Maybe we should…
First off, the health benefits of pumpkins can be divided into the pumpkin puree (the gooey insides of the pumpkin that you carve out for jack-o-lanterns) and the pumpkin seeds. Both are great for you for different reasons.
Pumpkin puree is an excellent source of fiber, containing 7 grams per cup, which is more than most high fiber cereals. It is also a great low calorie source of carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron. Carotenoids have been shown to decrease your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as lower your risk for heart disease and lung cancer. They also have been shown to decrease inflammation levels in the body.
Pumpkin seeds are high in phytosterols, which help lower LDL (bad!) cholesterol levels, as well as containing high levels of zinc, which helps prevent osteoporosis. They also promote sleep and lower depression levels due to the high concentration of tryptophan (think turkey!), which increases serotonin levels. And finally, one cup of pumpkin seeds has more potassium than a banana, making it a good post-workout snack to replace electrolytes.
So the next time you pick up a pumpkin for Halloween or as a decoration, consider using it for something more. Add a cup of pumpkin puree to soup or oatmeal; Include it in a muffin recipe. Or just simply roast the seeds and enjoy!Remember to check out our FREE weight loss seminar online: https://www.myweightclinic.com/hohmanrehab