Pumpkin – Fall’s best treat

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Happy Thanksgiving Day to all our Canadian readers!  And a happy Columbus Day to all of our American readers too!  Thanksgiving – and fall in general – is known for pumpkins.  You may just think of pumpkins as a decoration for your festive table, or something you carve into a scary face on Halloween, but there are many many health benefits to eating pumpkin.

Pumpkin is very high in Vitamins C, E, and B5 which are all skin healthy vitamins because they promote a healthy immune system, encourage proper blood flow and a healthy immune system, and the Vitamin E works to protect your skin from sun damage.  Pumpkin also contains fiber which is essential for a healthy digestive system and to help remove toxins from the body.  The Alpha and Beta Carotene found in pumpkin are anti inflammatory agents and help to neutralize free radicals which will reverse skin damage and help with aging and sagging skin.

All those benefits come from the inside of pumpkins – or flesh as it is commonly called – and there are even more health benefits when you eat the seeds too!   The seeds are loaded with your important heart healthy Omega vitamins, Zinc – which is a great for skin mineral, Magnesium to boost your immune system, Potassium to help regulate your blood and keep energy levels stable, and even more Vitamin E to protect your skin!

Fresh pumpkins are best and are abundant at most grocery stores and farms this time of year, but canned or frozen pumpkin is usually just as beneficial – just watch for any added ingredients such as sugar, salt or seasonings.  You can use pumpkin in just about anything – muffins, cakes, and most commonly – pie.  The seeds can be used in salads or eaten raw as a snack.  They are great baked and sprinkled with a bit of curry, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder for even more health benefits!

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    Pumpkin is one of those foods that I tend to ignore. I never thought it gives so many benefits. I’ll use it more often in my cooking, starting with the muffins I’m baking tomorrow. 🙂

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