I hope you are enjoying the beautiful autumn weather and all the delicious seasonal food that it has to offer.Today I wanted to share some important health information about pumpkins and why you should absolutely get your fill this season. I am also sharing a delicious smoothie recipe for you to enjoy.
Pumpkin is one of nature’s riches sources of alpha-carotene, a carotenoid that converts to retinol, a form of vitamin A. This vitamin promotes healthy vision and immune health. It is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis. Alpha-carotene is considered an anti-aging nutrient for good skin health because it jump-starts the skin cell renewal process and increases the production of collagen for youthful, smooth skin. Another carotenoid in pumpkin, beta-carotene, also promotes skin health and who doesn’t want younger looking skin? I know I do! Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene also may reduce the risk of developing certain
types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.
Vitamins C and E are also found in pumpkin. Vitamin C is well-known for strengthening the immune system, but it also promotes cardiovascular health. Along with carotenoids found in pumpkin, Vitamin E also promoteshealthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage.Pumpkin is rich with L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our body cannot manufacture. One of the causes of depression is the lack of trytophan in our diet. When this chemical compound is supplied, it activates the feeling of happiness and well-being, reducing the depressed mood. Think of pumpkin as a happy food!
Pumpkins are also a good natural source of fiber. Just a half-cup of pumpkin gives you 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps promote good digestion and gastrointestinal health. It also supports cardiovascular health and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range.Pumpkin is also a low calorie food that supports weight-loss. In addition, this autumn favorite contains other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Potassium, magnesium and vitamin B5 are all found in pumpkin flesh.
Pumpkin puree is often found in Thanksgiving desserts, but you can make it a regular part of your diet by adding it into your smoothie. Here is my latest recipe:
Pumpkin Power Smoothie
½ Cup Almond Milk
½ Cup Coconut Water
½ Cup Ice (optional)
¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree (You can also use raw or cooked pumpkin)
1 Cup Baby Spinach
1 Tbsp. Flaxseeds
1 Tbsp. Hemp Seeds
1 Scoop Protein Powder
1 Dash Cinnamon
Much love, health and happiness.
Sources: Swanson Health, MNT Knowledge Center
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