FOOD FOR HEALTH
Pumpkins take center stage in fall decorating and are a favorite ingredient in an array of beverages, puddings, breads and desserts for good reason. Pumpkins are a super health food, valued nutritionally as a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Save and roast the seeds too! We’ll tell you how to bake and puree fresh pumpkin and roast seeds in our next article.
Pumpkin is chock full of antioxidants: alpha and beta-carotenes, which convert to vitamin A in the body to boost the immune system and healthy vision. It’s a good source of vitamins C and E, fiber, carbohydrates, and minerals: iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains only 49 calories.
Research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protects against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases, in addition to some degenerative aspects of aging, as it promotes skin health.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, iron and copper. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities and is used to treat prostate disorders, and rid the intestinal tract of parasites.
Visit our recipe index page for delicious pumpkin recipes.
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.