Pumpkin and Spice is nice when it comes to health

Eating Well: A column by Paul Webster
Posted 11/26/19

If you read my column earlier this summer on the world’s largest berry, you realized that watermelons are considered berries, but so are pumpkins. In many ways, a pumpkin can be considered a …

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Pumpkin and Spice is nice when it comes to health

Posted

If you read my column earlier this summer on the world’s largest berry, you realized that watermelons are considered berries, but so are pumpkins.

In many ways, a pumpkin can be considered a superfood, just like blueberries. Pumpkins are not just used for making pies, I make everything from lasagna to cookies and dog treats with pumpkins. Pumpkin pie smoothies and pumpkin pie oatmeal are great for breakfast, just search the internet for recipes. Pumpkin is good for dogs too; they seem to like it when you add a couple of tablespoons to their dry food!

The typical spices used in pumpkin recipes are also very healthy. Common spices used in pumpkin recipes include ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric. All these spices are very high in antioxidants. When combined with the beta carotene and other micronutrients in the pumpkin, these spices boost your antioxidant levels and are better for your health than taking antioxidant supplements alone.

Pumpkin is low in calories, about 83 calories per cup and contains 7 grams of fiber along with 2.7 grams of protein and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also high in vitamins A, C, E, K, and several B vitamins. Pumpkin contains lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration and other degenerative eye conditions.

What about pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols that help reduce cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds also contain proteins that are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps your body create melatonin and get a good night’s sleep. Try eating a handful of pumpkin seeds an hour or so before bed if you have trouble sleeping. In addition to tryptophan, pumpkin seeds are high in the essential amino acid arginine with can help burn fat. Eating pumpkin seeds can help you burn fat while getting a good night sleep, why not give it a try?

Keep in mind that pumpkin isn’t just an ingredient for pies. Search the Internet for a wide variety of savory and sweet pumpkin recipes. Because we are in the middle of the holiday season, I thought I would share a healthy pumpkin pie recipe that is as healthy for breakfast as it is for dessert.

Paul Webster is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Certified Personal Trainer and a professionally trained chef. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media. Questions and Comments can be set to Info@ServingHealthy.com

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