Before we get into the benefits of eating pumpkin……say it three times and try not to smile.
“Pumpkin, pumpkin pumpkin,” or as the toddler’s would say “ punkin, punkin, punkin.” The word alone has health benefits because it makes you smile. And in case you didn’t know it, smiling puts you in a better mood and relieves stress. Pretty good start for the old pumpkin.
It’s a great word and a great food. The health benefits of eating pumpkin are many. The seeds alone make for a tasty and nutritional snack.
The Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
Not only are they crunchy and delicious but the seeds of the pumpkin fruit are jam packed with the goodness of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.They are high in protein and rich in magnesium which can help with bone and dental health. The seeds are also high in plant based fatty acids. This can help to regulate cholesterol levels, aid in heart health, and provide protection against arthritis. The fatty acids can also help to improve brain function and promote healthier skin.
The pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw but roasting them in the oven creates a crunchy taste sensation that you’ll want to experience. Preparation and cooking time can also make for some good bonding time with the kids at Halloween. Brings back some pretty good pictures and memories in my brain, for sure.
And that’s just the seeds!
The pumpkin itself is in the same fruit and vegetable family as things like cucumbers, cantaloupes and squash. It is a fruit that is very low in calories but packed with goodness including antioxidant vitamins such as A, C and E. The pumpkin has a high concentration of Vitamin A which is an antioxidant that is good for the skin and sight and may also protect the body against cancers of the lung and mouth.
Here are some other health benefits of eating pumpkin.
- It is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin and thiamin.
- It is a fruit that is rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium and copper.
- The pumpkin is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, as are most orange veggies and fruits
- The fiber, potassium and vitamin C in pumpkins are good for the heart and treating high blood pressure.
- The powerful combination of nutrients contained in pumpkins can help the immune system.
- One cup of pumpkin puree provides your body with over 7 grams of dietary fiber.
Here is the best way to roast pumpkin seeds.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (150 degrees C)
- Separate the seeds by scooping out the pumpkin and placing everything in a colander.
- Run it under water until the seeds separate from everything else
- Boil the seeds for about 10 minutes in salted water and drain.
- In a mixing bowl stir the seeds with either melted butter or some olive oil. They don’t need to be drenched, less is more.
- Here is the creative part where you have room to experiment.
- Lay the seeds out evenly on parchment paper on a baking pan.
- I like to flavor mine with a light sprinkling of garlic salt and cayenne powder. But I season them a little bit different every time. Experiment with seasonings that you enjoy. And finally…..
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Try a couple of them at about the 15 minute mark just to make sure that the insides are not too well done.
Let them cool a little before eating and then do it all again, you’ll be hooked.
Well, there you have it folks. The pumpkin is not only fun, it’s healthy. And that’s a win, win situation in our journey towards better health here at Treatments For Ailments.
Conclusion: Pumpkin, say it and eat it for good health.
Check out this informative video by Dani Spies on how to make fresh pumpkin puree. Once you have the puree you can use it to make……pie, muffins, pancake and soup, just for starters. Add it to anything you cook and get all of the above benefits of the pumpkin. Have fun and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below. Thanks, The TFA Team