Health Benefits of Pumpkin
October is upon us and the
first image that comes to my mind when I think about October is… pumpkins. Bright
orange, sometimes white, peach even yellow at times decorate front porches, fireplace
mantles, and fall festivals around your community. And even though I still
refuse to buy my own real pumpkins in this 90 degree heat, I have decorated my
fireplace mantle (in my lovely airconditioned home) with a variety of plastic
pumpkins to help get the fall spirit flowing. Another way people engage this
seasonal staple is through cooking and baking! Everywhere you look now there is
a pumpkin spice flavored food or drink. Some favorites of mine include pumpkin
bread/muffins, pumpkin rolls, and pumpkin pie (I have a sweet tooth, can you
tell? 😊). Some of the more outlandish
ones I have seen in stores include pumpkin spiced cheerios, pumpkin spice oreos,
and pumpkin spice frosted flakes. Seems to be a bit much for me, but
nonetheless, this ingredient is obviously a favorite among the people. And you
are bound to come upon this topic in your practice whether it be through a conversation
with a patient/client or even through chit chatting with your fellow coworkers.
One question that I often hear is, “Doesn’t pumpkin have a lot of health
benefits?” And my answer is always a resounding, “Yes!” But to take it one step
further I have gathered the specific health benefits this fruit (yes, fruit!)
brings to the table so you can help educate those you meet. See below the
health benefits of both pumpkin and pumpkin seeds!
Health Benefits of Pumpkin:
Pumpkin is rich in
carotenoids, which is known for keeping your immune system strong
One of those carotenoids, beta-carotene, is a powerful
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps prevent cholesterol build up
in artery walls and gives the pumpkin its yellow/orange color.
Another carotenoid pumpkin is rich in, alpha-carotene, is
believed to slow the aging process.
Pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular
degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.
Pumpkin helps lower the risk of hypertension thanks in part to it’s
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:
They promote overall prostate health
They are comprised of L-tryptophan, a compound that has been
found to be effective against combating depression.
Research has shown that they help prevent calcium oxalate kidney
There phytosterol content helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels
Sounds like its time to get cooking (or baking)! Make something
for a work potluck or host a cooking demo for clients and get the conversation
started. There is a pumpkin roll recipe waiting for you over on the recipe page
right now! Happy eating!
Posted by Lindsey Davis