It's Pumpkin Season!

October 10, 2014

This orange superstar isn’t just for jack-o’-lanterns! Pumpkins are part of the gourd family, along with cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, and zucchini. They have an extensive list of nutritional benefits and can be a part of your healthy, balanced diet every day.

 

Here are a few health benefits of pumpkins;

 

1-Pumpkins are loaded with fiber and low in calories. Fiber helps you digest your food efficiently and getting enough fiber can keep you from getting constipated. One cup of pumpkin puree has 7 grams of dietary fiber. A fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less and therefore help loose weight.

 

2-One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more potassium than a banana.

 

3-Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give their bright orange color,

including beta-carotene,  provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body, an anti-aging nutrient that increases the production of collagen for smooth, youthful-looking skin. 

Beta-carotene is also known for its immune-boosting powers and essential for eye health.

 

4-Pumpkins are also rich source of calcium. 

 

5-Pumpkins have high amounts of phytosterols, which are very effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Phytosterols reduce your cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of harmful cholesterol from your diet. 

 

Pumpkin Seeds

They are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits— such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and helping to prevent depression.

 

They’re easy to roast. After removing seeds, rinse with water in a colander and wipe them off with a paper towel. You can soak the seeds in salt water overnight but it's optional. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Roast at 300°F for 20 minutes, stirring in between until light brown and crispy.

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