5 Health Perks of Pumpkin!

 

September is winding down. The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, the mums are in full bloom…Fall must be upon us! Pumpkins are fall’s powerhouse for nutrition. Pumpkins provide so much nutrition to help you get more fiber, minerals, good fats, protein, and antioxidants to improve your health! Pumpkin and it’s little gems (the seeds) are a great addition to soups, stews, lattes, baked goods or crunchy texture to salads.

  1. Pumpkin itself is a good source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts your immune system to increase its likelihood of fighting illness, keeps your eyes and skin healthy, and has anti-oxidative properties. Eating Vitamin A from food sources is the recommended route because taking a Vitamin A supplement can do more harm than good when taken in overabundance.
  2. It’s good for nerve and heart function. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of magnesium is important for nerve and heart function. Magnesium is also important for other enzymatic reactions in the body. 1 oz of pumpkin seeds will provide 18% Daily Value for magnesium.
  3. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive tract healthy and prevent constipation. Most Americans don’t eat enough fiber and fall short by 10-20 grams everyday. It’s recommended to eat between 20-30 grams of fiber everyday for an healthy adult.
  4. It can help boost your immune system with zinc. Zinc is essential to the body because it plays an integral role in immune function, protein metabolism, and acts as an antioxidant, and many other functions. 1 oz of pumpkin seeds provides almost 3 mg of zinc.
  5. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of omega-6 fatty acids which could reduce inflammation in the body when eaten with a healthy, balanced diet.

Helpful Tips

  • If you buy packaged pumpkin seeds, get the unsalted version. It will cut down on your sodium and leave you with all the flavor!
  • Make sure the pumpkin seeds smell fresh and not have a foul musty odor. This is a good sign they are rancid. Unfortunately pumpkin seeds can easily go bad (especially if they are organic) when purchased in bulk.
  • Roasting your own pumpkin seeds is a great way to save money and make your own flavoring combinations.

Easy DIY Spiced Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sugar and Spice. Recipe by Jani.  Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Recipe by CRYSTAL10.  Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Recipe by ausableflyfisherman.  Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

Tasty, Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Butter I. Recipe by Eleanor Johnson.  Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

Turkey Pumpkin Enchiladas Recipe by Heathercakes. Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

Pumpkin Soup. Recipe by Lea Ogawa. Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

 

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