Pumpkin Take Over

With tomorrow being the first of October, pumpkin season is officially upon us. While the whole world seems to embrace pumpkin this time of the year, and it’s actually incredibly nutritious and good for your body. While your run of the mill pumpkin spice latte isn’t going to give you any of the benefits that pumpkin has to offer, incorporating pumpkin into your baking and home cooked meals is an excellent way to reap the benefits of fall’s favorite fruit (it has seeds, which makes it a fruit, though it’s cooked and prepared as a vegetable).

Pumpkin is great for your skin. Pumpkin fruit has free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free. Pumpkin can also boost your work out and aid in weightless. A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 564 milligrams of potassium, beating out the banana by over 140 milligrams. Potassium helps keel the balance of electrolytes in the body balanced, keeping muscle function at a premium. Pumpkin is also full of fiber with a low calorie count, helping you keep or calories in check and keeping you feeling full and satisfied.

Pumpkin seeds have great health benefits as well. Pumpkin seeds contain a chemical called phytosterol that helps to reduce bad cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan which is essential for the production of seratonin, making it easier to count z’s and generally give your mood a boost.

Pumpkin is also chock full of vitamins and minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Pumpkin fruit is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin and vitamin B-6. In addition Pumpkin is plentiful with the antioxidant Zea-xanthin which helps with the health of your eyes.

With pumpkin being such a dietary heavyweight, it seems as though it’s a difficult ingredient to incorporate into your everyday meals. Here are 6 ways you can add pumpkin into your diet:

ŸMake a pumpkin oatmeal. A good recipe can be found here.

ŸTry adding pumpkin to your morning smoothie smoothie.

ŸCraft your own at home, nutritious, pumpkin coffee. By combining two tablespoons of canned pumpkin to one-cup coffee, you can get the great taste of pumpkin without the extra sugar. Add milk, cinnamon and sugar to taste.

ŸPumpkin granola, anyone?

ŸSnack on pumpkin seeds.

ŸMake a pumpkin yoghurt parfait, just layer with Greek yoghurt, cinnamon and honey.

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