‘Tis that time of the year where pumpkins are everywhere! In everything! PSL’s are in every hand in the grocery store and pumpkin cookies, muffins, pancakes, bars are baking in the oven! Okay, I’m seriously obsessed with pumpkin.
Literally, hands down my favorite pie….PUMPKIN. Not apple. Not cherry. PUMPKIN. If you think about it, isn’t it weird that pumpkin is one of the most used vegetables in the fall in almost everything you think of? Like a vegetable in coffee? In pie? Whaaaaaaat?
If you are a pumpkin lover (like me!), you will love this blog – mostly because it’ll feel real good when you’re eating/drinking pumpkin next. Who doesn’t like to eat yummy nutritious foods?
Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and is definitely more of a starchy vegetable, as it’s more carbohydrate heavy with little protein and fats. Beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A by an enzyme in the intestines) is known to keep your eyes healthy, as well as keeping your immune system healthy due to creating strong epithelial/mucous membranes. Vitamin C is known to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Potassium is a major electrolyte in our body that plays important roles in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, heartbeat, maintaining acid/alkaline balance and even can help lower blood pressure.
What About Those Pumpkin Seeds?
Don’t forget about those awesome pumpkin seeds! These seeds have plant-based omega-3’s, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, and iron. They also are a good source of protein and are medicinally known to help colon, spleen, and liver function.
Let’s talk on magnesium for a second because most of the population is deficient in magnesium.
Magnesium is a cofactor for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Because of the way we process of our food + our soil is depleted of nutrients, magnesium is hard to come by in the diet sometimes. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of them. Magnesium plays a role in helping metabolize our carbs, fats, and proteins. It can help with decreasing cardiovascular disease by relaxing blood vessels, decreasing platelet stickiness, and thinning the blood. It even helps bind to the calcium to your tooth enamel.
Fresh or Canned?
Let’s be honest, looking at a big pumpkin and thinking what you have to do it to get like what you’d get in the can looks really intimidating. There isn’t much of a difference nutrition-wise. But when you are getting canned pumpkin, you want to look for organic pumpkin being the only ingredients and a BPA-free can. BPA lines most of the canned products on the market, which is a known hormone disruptor. Read my past blog when I talk about the dangers of BPA.
Are you ready to eat some pumpkin or pumpkin seeds? I don’t blame ya! ?