Perfection of the Pumpkin Print
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

 

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Vitamin A plays a key role in the health of our eyes, skin, hair and teeth..

Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. In addition to cancer and heart disease, diets rich in beta carotene also appear to offer protection against developing type 2 diabetes, with pumpkin consumption being the most effective.

Although the pumpkin is botanically classified as a fruit (the ripened ovary of a flowering plant), it is widely regarded as a vegetable. The pumpkin's insides are commonly eaten, cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin soup; the seeds may also be roasted for consumption. Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to be helpful in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP).

Nutritional Highlights

Pumpkin, like other richly colored vegetables, is an excellent source of carotene, so the richer the color, the richer the concentration. They are also a very good source of vitamin C and B1, folic acid, pantothenic acid, potassium, and dietary fiber. In addition, pumpkin is a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin.

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

Great for winter mornings!


 ½ cup coconut milk

 ½ cup water

½ cup canned cooked pumpkin, preferably organic

1 tablespoon of vanilla flavored protein powder

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3-4 drops of liquid Stevia, or to taste

1 Tablespoon flaxseed oil

1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. This is a great way to get a daily dose of pumpkin and its many nutritional powers! Drink immediately.


Pumpkin Nutrition Facts

(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)

  Calories 49 

 Protein 2 grams
 Carbohydrate 12 grams
 Dietary Fiber 3 grams
 Calcium 37 mg
 Iron 1.4 mg
 Magnesium 22 mg
 Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg