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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Four Benefits Of Pumpkins

Pumpkin is just about everywhere this time of year, from a scary carved pumpkin in your window to celebrate Halloween to delicious sweet pumpkin spiced lattes served at near enough every coffee shop in the country. But did you know pumpkin has a wide range of health benefits and is a great food to include in your diet?!
I have to admit, I don't think I'd ever eaten pumpkin until last year. I always thought of the round orange vegetable as something you just carved at halloween and perhaps made a lousy soup out of with the remains....little did I know just how delicious and nutritious pumpkin actually is.

Pumpkin is actually within the same veggie family as cucumbers and butternut squash. It's one of the most popular field crops around the world both for it's flesh and it's seeds inside. Pumpkin is extremely nutrient dense, low calorie and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted and baked. I personally love to roast it with a little olive oil, dried herbs and sea salt then mix it into salads, quinoa bowls, rice dishes or even stews and curries. I recently mixed it into a spaghetti dish (recipe on my Instagram) with a mustard, lemon & olive oil dressing, toasted flaked almonds and wilted spinach - it was superb! If you're not convinced to try adding pumpkin to your diet yet, here's some more reasons why you definitely should -

Rich In Vitamin A
Pumpkin has one of the highest levels of vitamin A in all vegetables. Vitamin A is a real natural anti-oxidant and is essential for the human body. It helps to maintain normal healthy vision, a strong immune system and organ health. Research has also suggested foods naturally high in vitamin A may help the body fight lung cancer! It's important to remember vitamin A is fat soluble which means it's important we're consuming healthy fats alongside the vitamin to help with absorption!

Good For Heart Health
We all want healthy, happy hearts don't we? Well, pumpkin sure helps with keeping the organ in good health! The fibre, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkins all help to support the heart.

High Fibre Content 
Pumpkins are a fab source of fibre which is so important to include in your daily diet. People in the UK do consume anywhere near enough fibre and it's something we need to address! Fibre isn't just vital for a healthy digestive system but it also slows down the rate in which sugar is absorbed into the body. Making sure we consume adequate fibre can reduce our risks of developing diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer later in life.

Immune Boosting Power
Pumpkin's are in season during the colder months, which is fab because they have major immune boosting powers - just what we need when cold & flu viruses seems to be under attack! Both the flesh and the seeds of a pumpkin are fab for boosting your immunity as they're high in vitamin C and beta-carotene. The latter is converted into vitamin A which triggers the creation of white blood cells to fight infection.

So, as you can tell there is a lot more to pumpkin than you might first have thought! So now instead of looking at the vegetable as simply something you carve for Halloween try adding it into your diet for a delicious and nutritious addition to you life.

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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