The benefits of pumpkin

Oct 7, 2015

It’s October which means pumpkin season. Pumpkin soups, pastas, muffins, cookies, beer and of course coffee beverages! It seems like no food, or beverage is immune from the pumpkin craze that creeps in with the crisp air. Did you know that pumpkin offers some huge nutritional advantages?

Pumpkin contains antioxidants and vitamins that help fight against illness and aging
Pumpkin is loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene. According to University Of Illinois Extension website, “current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease.”  In addition, “mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Feel fuller longer with pumpkin
In addition to being loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, pumpkin is full of fiber. Fiber helps slow digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.   CNN reports that a can of cooked pumpkin contains about seven grams of fiber. You would need to eat two slices of whole-grain bread to achieve the same amount of fiber intake!

Recover from a workout with pumpkin
According to Huffington Post a cup of cooked pumpkins contains more potassium than a banana, which is “touted as nature’s energy bar.”   Eating potassium after a workout helps balance electrolytes and “keep muscles functioning at their best.”

While some of the pumpkin flavored foods and beverages offered may contain artificial pumpkin flavor, you can create some scrumptious pumpkin recipes at home that actually use pumpkin.   Get your pumpkin fix and reap the nutritional benefits!

Love pumpkin coffee drinks? Try whipping up one at home with this vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe from Dexonita.

This Pumpkin Muffin recipe from WebMd brings in the sweet flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar and pumpkin. Plus, each muffin is only 165 calories!

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