Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, including:
- Beta-carotene, the antioxidant that makes pumpkins orange. Carotenoids are plant pigments that help neutralize free radicals in the skin to slow down the aging process and prevent wrinkles. Vitamin A, a powerful natural antioxidant vital for keeping your eyes, bones and teeth healthy.
- B Vitamins, a good source of folate and niacin which helps protect against certain birth defects.
- Vitamins C, E, and K. Vitamins that support cell reproduction, tissue repair and fetal development; protect against osteoporosis; fight disease-causing free radicals in the body and even help your blood clot.
- Essential minerals, like calcium, potassium , phosphorus and copper.
Did you know PUMPKINS are a great veggie to eat to help maintain a healthy weight. They are low cal. One cup of puree has about 80 calories with no saturated fat or cholesterol. So eat up! (No brainer, people: pumpkin dishes loaded with sugar, fat and tons of calories can make you fat.)
- Packed with fiber, to keep you regular and in tip-top digestive shape. Did you know fiber makes you feel fuller so you eat less.
- A great substitute for oil in recipes. Use pumpkin puree in place of a portion of the oil in your favorite bread and muffin recipes to reduce calories and lower fat.
Pumpkin also boost your immune system, protecting you from a number of diseases. Here are just some of the health benefits of pumpkin touted by researchers.
- Fights cancer. The National Cancer Institute believes a beta-carotene rich diet protects against certain cancers. If you smoke (hmmmm), beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid found in pumpkin, just may protect you from developing lung cancer.
- Reduces inflammation which can lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. Cancer, too.
- Prevents blindness from age-related macular disease.
- Enhances your mood. The tryptophan in roasted pumpkin seeds promotes serotonin production to make you happy, happy, happy.
- Reduces LDL or "bad" cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds have this affect, apparently. Save some when you carve your pumpkin. Wash them, salt them and pop them in the oven… and then into your mouth.
I was totally amazed when I read this report from our local hospital dietitian I think I am going to be eating more pumpkin. How about you?
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