A Jack-O-Lantern Worth Eating
Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer — it is the time of year when several foods (and drinks) turn orange in favor of this seasonal, superfood squash. What is a superfood? It is a food that has a significantly higher nutritional value than most others. This gifted gourd provides several powerful health benefits. Here are some reasons why pumpkin is considered a superfood:
- The bright orange color in pumpkin is due to the carotenoids it contains. Carotenoid consumption aids in lowering cholesterol, improving vision, helping the immune system, preventing cancer and premature aging.
- Pumpkins are full of fiber. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar, decreases cholesterol, promotes healthy digestion, aids in weight loss and protects against heart disease.
- There are high portions of potassium in the pumpkin. Potassium is needed for muscle contraction, maintaining fluid balance, and normal blood pressure.
- High sources of vitamin C and vitamin E are found in pumpkin. These vitamins lower blood pressure, while supporting healthy vision and fostering a strong immune system.
- Pumpkin is a low glycemic index food, which aids in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Not only is the pumpkin pulp good for you, but the seeds inside the pumpkin also nest numerous nutritional values. Here are a few of the many benefits of pumpkin seeds:
- Zinc — plays an important role in the immune system.
- L-tryptophan — converts to serotonin, which improves mood and helps against depression.
- Phytosterol — helps to lower cholesterol, boost immune response and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- Magnesium — is important for energy, healthy bones and strong nervous and cardiovascular systems.
As the season for pumpkin approaches, it may be worth stocking up on this orange beauty. This is one food that is power-packed with nutrients. It is worth eating all year long.