Pumpkins – Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Each year around October we are often inundated with the Halloween trick or treating. If you do take a look at the primary food crop around that time, it is seasonal that pumpkins are in larger supply in many areas. However we’ve taken the time to highlight that these pumpkins are jam packed with loads of nutritional value and can be a good source of may things which our bodies may need.

These foods even though widely used in thanksgiving fillings, are also full of nutrients such as riboflavin, Vitamin C, also minerals such as copper, potassium and manganese, to name a few. Here are four things which we can benefit from using pumpkins.

Good for the Heart…

Pumpkins are full of fiber, and this is important in helping to protect our heart. In fact, research has shown that men who ate a diet which was high in fiber, had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. This was compared to those who ate very little fiber. In fact other studies showed that women who ate a diet high in fiber had a 25% lower risk of heart disease, compared to those women who didn’t eat much fiber.

Helps lower blood pressure

Pumpkins are full of potassium, and this can have a very good effect on your blood pressure. In addition to this, there is the element of magnesium in this super-food. If there is not enough of either of these in the body, there is a buildup of another mineral called calcium. If there is a build up of this calcium, then the calcium will enter the cells of the muscles. This will cause them to contract and also the arteries will get squeezed. Once this starts to happen – then the blood pressure rises and we have onset of hypertension.

Carotene / Vitamin A

Pumpkins are generally bright orange in color and this is an easy indicator of the phytonutrient: Carotene. When we consume anything that contains carotene, our body converts this to Vitamin A, leading to a boost of anti-oxidants which go to work to help prevent cancers, slow down ageing as well as heart disease. Of course one of the more well known bits is that Vitamin A is great for eye-sight and for good vision. Along with this the harmful free radicals are actively destroyed and particularly in the eyes, macular (muscles in the eye) degeneration is halted as well as harmful cataracts.

Depression

Did you know? That pumpkin also has L tryptophan, which is a compound that helps trigger that feel good factor which we sometimes need. Persons with mild depression – can count on this fruit to help give an “upper boost” naturally.

Along with the flesh of the pumpkin, the seeds are found to be quite nutritious in content and will benefit those who have a taste for pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds are very good sources of zinc. This is important especially for men, since zinc enhances male sexual function. Further to this the zinc is good to the body in boosting the immune system, cell growth and repair as well as the mood and helps in our restful sleep. The pumpkin seeds are great when you eat them to heighten the sense of taste smell and skin health. For persons on the cusp of Type 2 diabetes – the Zinc in the pumpkin seeds also act in insulin regulation.

The seeds of the pumpkin have been shown to support prostate health, and even assist in fighting enlarged prostate conditions. Some research has even suggested that the seeds can aid in weight loss programs, as these little power sources are very dense and you will tend to feel fuller for longer periods. If you are battling hair loss, consuming the seeds also act to stimulate the hair follicles. Just be sure to meet with your nutritionist or even consult an expert on how to include the right amounts in your diet.

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