Once again, it’s that time of the year when everything is pumpkin spiced this and pumpkin that. Obviously, most of this stuff is nothing more than sugar with a hint of pumpkin added to it.
It’s sad that the pumpkin has been reduced to nothing but Halloween decorations, pie fillings and sugar loaded ‘coffee’ drinks. The sad part is that the actual vegetable itself is so incredibly good for you that if you replaced all those other fake pumpkin products with just a cup of the real thing, you would notice a tremendous improvement in your overall health.
Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, which is known for its ability to greatly improve eyesight, especially your night vision. It has also shown in various studies to slow down the loss of eyesight in those with retinal disorders. Just one cup of pumpkin contains almost double the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Vitamin A.
Pumpkins (including the seeds) are high in fiber as well as the mineral, Potassium. If you don’t know by now, fiber helps to bind excess cholesterol within the blood, helping you to keep your heart healthy and your arteries unclogged. Potassium, on the other hand, helps to keep a balance between your electrolytes, specifically sodium, which can raise blood pressure in excess amounts. Potassium counterbalances sodium, helping you to maintain normal blood pressure levels.
This beautifully orange vegetable gets its color from an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which is also responsible for the orange color of carrots. Beta-carotene, however, isn’t just a coloring agent, it is also, a very powerful antioxidant that has shown a lot of promise in fighting the effects of cancer, especially colon cancer. This isn’t the only antioxidant in pumpkins. They also contain a healthy amount of Vitamin C and E which help to fight free radicals within the body and are also known to improve skin health as well.
To get all the incredible health benefits of the pumpkin, eat it as it is meant to be eaten, as a vegetable. Steam it, roast it or grill it, just eat it!
We hope this will help you as your meal prep each week and strive to meet your nutritional goals.