5 Reasons to Eat Pumpkins

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkins are native to North America and for most of us are easily obtainable at this time of year. Unlike many foreign vegetables and fruits, there is a limitless and cheap supply in most parts of southern Canada. In fact, the U.S. produces over 1 billion pounds annually, according to an early 2000s study from Penn State. You’d think people would eat pumpkins more often, but they don’t.

Pumpkins are in season and the rush is on to enjoy everything pumpkin from spice latte’s to pumpkin beers and pumpkin soup; however, few eat pumpkins regularly throughout the fall season, or better yet, freeze them for the future.

Now, let’s get to the top 5 reasons everyone should eat pumpkins, not just carve them this Halloween season.

5 Reasons to Eat Pumpkins

 

Pumpkins are load with FIBER

 

Fiber fills you up. If you want to lose weight or eat right for life, remember that. 1 cup of cooked or boiled pumpkins contain 2.7 grams of dietary fiber or 11% of the recommended daily value. Think pumpkin soup, you can’t go wrong.

 

Vitamin A… right this way

 

One cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains about 245% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. In humans, Vitamin A plays a key role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. Also, Vitamin A aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institute of Health.

source: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm

 

Don’t throw out away those pumpkin seeds!

 

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with the right kind of fatty acids which are essential to human health. One cup contains 49.3 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 5605mg of omega-6 fatty acids. When I found that out, I literally went to the store and bought a kilo of pumpkin seeds!

Raw pumpkin seeds are also loaded with zinc (44% DV) and magnesium (42% DV). Pumpkin seeds also contain a solid amount of iron – 12% of the recommended daily value.

Click here to read more about the mineral and vitamin enhancing benefits of pumpkin seeds.

 

Pumpkin seeds lower LDL cholesterol

 

Pumpkin seeds are rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols which have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

 

The website pritikin.com and its longevity center contain a world of knowledge and is a place I frequent. Below is an excerpt from a recent article on LDL cholesterol:

“Nuts and seeds have been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. To avoid blood-pressure-raising salt, choose raw or dry-roasted, unsalted varieties. To avoid gaining weight, don’t eat more than 1 ounce daily since nuts and seeds are dense with calories (averaging about 175 calories per ounce).”

source: https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/health-benefits/lower-cholesterol/1468-7-tips-for-improving-your-ldl-cholesterol.html

 

Again, good calories are what you want and actually fill you up unlike bad calories or bad fat. Pumpkin seeds also contain the amino acid tryptophan, made infamous by Jerry Seinfeld and George Constanza who showed up at Jerry’s girlfriend’s apartment with a massive Turkey (known for containing tryptophan) and a box of red wine so she would fall asleep in a bid to get unrestricted access to her toy collection.

 

Apparently, amino acid tryptophan does more than make you sleepy, it is in fact important in the production of serotonin – one of the major players when it comes to our mood, according to WebMD. Now, imagine how happy you would be watching Seinfeld while eating pumpkin seeds!

source: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/the-truth-about-tryptophan

 

Pumpkins likely reduce Cancer Risk

 

And last but not least, pumpkins lay claim to the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. As a rule, brightly colored vegetables are generally loaded with antioxidants, including beta-carotene. So don’t just carve pumpkins this fall, save some (and the seeds!) for your next soup, snack or healthy pie! There are hundreds of great recipes online to get you started.

 

To your super immunity,

 

 

Alex

A picture of my wife’s pumpkin soup…

 

Pumpkins, onions and garlic simmering

Pumpkins, onions and garlic simmering

 

A few facts to put the above information into context:

I get my stats on nutrient density from nutritiondata.com which is great at comparing the mineral and vitamin makeup of your favorite fruits and veggies and their immune boosting powers.

Due to the fact I haven’t met anyone who enjoys eating raw pumpkin…yet, the nutritional info featured above is derived from 1 cup of cooked or boiled pumpkin without salt.

About Alex Smith

Founder of RunHighGoFar, Alex is passionate about breaking the barriers of what it means to be healthy. I believe every change in respect to health and life comes from within and that the human body and mind are the most powerful forces in the universe. There are 100 trillion cells in the human body and I want all of them firing on a combination of super foods. If I can shine the light of Super Immunity on just one person, my mission will have been successful.

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