When you’re picking pumpkins to decorate your porch this fall, don’t forget to harvest a few for your kitchen cuisine.Those brilliant orange pumpkins are actually fruits loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene. This plant carotenoid is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene is recognized for its role in reducing the risk of developing certain cancers, and protecting against heart disease and some degenerative diseases.
Pumpkins are not only low in calories, but they’re also a good source of magnesium, potassium, folate, iron, fiber and vitamin C. Pumpkins also contain the antioxidant lutein, which promotes eye health and protects vision.
An antifungal protein from the rind of pumpkins has even been shown to fight the cause of many common yeast infections.
When it comes to ways to eat pumpkin, think beyond pie and bread. Add chunks of pumpkin to stews, use pureed pumpkin in shakes, pancakes and soups. You can finds lots of pumpkin recipes online.
Pumpkin seeds are also packed with nutrients, including ALA, an essential fatty acid; iron, protein, fiber and zinc. Native Americans used them for food and medicine. To eat them, let them dry on paper towels, then toss with oil and your choice of seasonings. Then oven roast them on a cookie sheet at 250° F for about 45 minutes.
For a crunchy, healthy fall treat, mix together roasted pumpkin seeds with Relivables™ Soy Nuts, which are dry roasted and low in sodium. Both adults and kids will dig into this guilt-free snack. And it’s a delicious alternative to sugar-and-calorie-packed Halloween sweets!
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