Pumpkin is an annual, vining plant that produces edible seeds, fruit and greens. The flesh of the ripe pumpkin is sweet and can be cooked as a vegetable or as an ingredient in sweet treats from breads to pies. Pumpkin can even be used in the main dish!
There are several reasons to include pumpkin in your diet:
- Essential Amino Acids: Pumpkin seeds are very high in protein and essential amino acids. They also contain small amounts of Vitamin K, Magnesium and Zinc among others.
- Fiber: Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in fat, and is the perfect way to add fiber to your diet. Because of its high fiber content, pumpkin helps to lower cholesterol levels as well.
- Fight Cancer: Pumpkin is high in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant known to fight cancer. Diets high in pumpkin seeds also have lower risks of many types of cancers, including gastric, breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers. In fact, in one study, the basic proteins of the pumpkin seeds have been shown to inhibit the growth of leukemia.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Pumpkin seeds are high in Vitamin E, and pumpkin seed oil has been shown to increase hepatic (liver) activity and protect cells from the damaging effects of inflammation. Natural Wellness’ Clinical LiverSupport contains natural anti-inflammatories (like blueberry leaf, dandelion and phospholipids) to minimize liver cell damage.
- Anti-Diabetic: Several studies have shown pumpkin and pumpkin extract to demonstrate anti-diabetic properties, lowering blood sugar in both healthy and diabetic animals. GlucoCare® helps support normal blood sugar balance.
- Antimicrobial: Pumpkin oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, and has been proven effective against E-coli, Salmonella, Candida and Staphylococcus.
- Mood Booster: Because it contains L-tryptophan, pumpkin helps increase serotonin production, which improves mood and decreases depression.
- Beauty Products: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and high fiber content, pumpkin is also used in cosmetics as an exfoliating scrub; the oils are nourishing to the skin.
So go ahead and start adding pumpkin and pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Oh, and one more way to enjoy pumpkins – as decorations! Nothing says “Autumn” like a few gorgeous pumpkins sitting amongst the leaves around your doorways, walkways and patios.