Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin season is in full swing!

Well, hello there!

Happy October 1st! Now that pumpkin season is in full swing... I wanted to talk about the benefits of the cheery autumn squash, as well as share some of my favorite pumpkin recipes!

What are the nutritional benefits of pumpkin?

Pumpkin is loaded in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium,  fiber, and manganese. It's also an excellent source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, copper, tryptophan, and B vitamins. (B1, B6, B3, B5)

Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes, bones, teeth, skin, and the reproductive system. It's also an antioxidant, protecting against free radicals that can cause ailments such as heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin C is excellent for your body's immune system, helps your body manage stress, can lower high blood pressure, and is also a powerful antioxidant.

Potassium is an electrolyte that assists with maintaining the correct balance of water in your body. It regulates blood pressure and heart function.

Fiber assists with bowel function, helps maintain colon health, lowers blood cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar, and is great for weight loss.

Manganese assists your body in metabolizing key nutrients, is excellent for bone health, helps your body synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol, supports the thyroid gland, and is beneficial for the nervous system.

Folate is beneficial to the heart, can alleviate depression, is necessary for proper brain function, and assists with the production of red blood cells.

Omega 3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, increase immune function, and alleviate anxiety and depression.

Copper is essential for hair and nail growth, hair and eye pigmentation, brain and thyroid health, immunity, and energy production.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used as a building block in protein synthesis. It is necessary to regulate sleep cycles, pain, and moods. It's also a precursor to serotonin, a hormone that contributes to feelings of well-being.

B vitamins play an important role in cell metabolism by creating energy from the foods you eat. They are also critical nutrients to a positive mood and good memory.

Given the many nutritional benefits (and deliciousness!) of pumpkin... I hope you will immediately embark on an adventure to find some pumpkin and start enjoying this seasonal delight a.s.a.p!

To get you started, I've come up with a list of some excellent pumpkin recipes by fellow bloggers:

Paleo Pumpkin Bread by Elana's Pantry
Pumpkin Bars by Elana's Pantry
Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie by Oh She Glows
Homemade Pumpkin Butter by Oh She Glows
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways by 101 Cookbooks
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte by Averie Cooks
Clean Eating Pumpkin Fries by The Gracious Pantry
Harvest Pumpkin Soup by Martha Stewart
Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots and Sage by Martha Stewart

Have a lovely fall day!


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