Time to take a closer look at pumpkins the other squash

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Pumpkins and its seeds are not widely utilized as other natural health foods, so many people might not even know the health benefits of pumpkins.  I think it is time that we finally acknowledge the pumpkin for the many benefits this fabulous squash can bring.  The pumpkin can finally be just what the doctor has ordered.  Pumpkin seeds have many nutritional benefits and they are loaded with minerals including copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.  The seeds are full of Vitamin K, E and the B’s and they have phytosterols compounds which aid in the lowering of LDL cholesterol.  Did you know that pumpkin seeds promote sleep and lower depression.  What a great way for Vegans to get natural tryptophan because when absorbed in the body tryptophan becomes serotonin.  Serotonin keeps us happy and helps us sleep so reach for a handful of pumpkin seeds the next time you are feeling blue or need a good night sleep.  The zinc in pumpkin seeds can help reduce hunger and aid in weight loss by increasing the hormone leptin that controls how hungry we feel.  Pumpkin seeds are full of protein with a whopping 9 grams per ounce.  The oil in pumpkin seeds has proven to reduce some symptoms of an enlarged prostate by alleviating urination that occurs in some men.  Guys raise your testosterone by eating pumpkins seeds. Eating pumpkin seeds can reduce inflammation and ward off kidney stones.

If you suffer from digestive problems like high acid content in your stomach the pumpkin seed is for you.  To counteract the negative effects of highly acid foods, take in to consideration of adding pumpkin seeds into your diet.  Now that I have discussed the seeds of the pumpkin lets talk about what to do with the rest of this magnificent squash.

Pumpkin puree is consider a low carb food with 9 grams of carbohydrate per cup and provide 7.1 grams of fiber.  Fiber is essential for controlling blood glucose levels, aids in the intestines in absorbing nutrients from your food, helps with constipation as well.  With only 9 grams of carbohydrates per cup pumpkin puree is one of the perfect super foods for people who need to maintain healthy glucose levels.

Want to starve off cold and flu’s try adding a cup of pumpkin to your diet daily to give your immune system a healthly boost of iron.  Just 1 cup of pumpkin a day supplies men with 43% of their daily iron and 20% for women.  The vitamin A found in pumpkin boost your immune system, keeps your eyes and teeth healthy.  A real plus to include pumpkin in your diet is that the Vitamin E found in pumpkin keeps your immune system healthy and protects your cells from the damage that can lead to diseases like cancer.  The bright orange color contains compounds that reduce inflammation that can lead to diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis.

Next time you pass by a farm stand or a pumpkin patch stop and pick up a pumpkin.  Stir some pumpkin puree in soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili as the flavor will not be change significantly and your dinner will pack all the nutrients of this wonderful super food.  Canned pumpkin can be found at almost any grocery store or market just read the label to insure that additional sugar has not been added to sweeten the puree.

Let food be our medicine and have a cup of pumpkin seeds or puree a day to keep the doctor away.

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