I don’t know about you, but Halloween for me is a time when I let go!
My healthy habits take a back seat. And, those chocolates and candies come screaming at me and destroy every ounce of self-control I have.
Carving pumpkins to decorate the house and bring the magic to the neighborhood. It is not the only way I use those magical fruits. (Yes, they are fruits)
Here are 5 healthy reasons to choose pumpkin recipes this season.
Fall is the season of the cold, flu, and allergies. Food that is high in vitamins, such as pumpkin, can help you to not “fall” ill in the fall. In this season, we can boost our immunity to defeat infections through pumpkin’s highly dense nutritional content. A cup of pumpkin provides 245% of vitamin A, 19% of vitamin C, 10% of vitamin E, and 2% of vitamin K according to FDA recommended daily values (RDV). These vitamins protect us against infections and help to treat the cold and flu. That’s why fall is the season of pumpkin, too.
Minerals are responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Adequate mineral intake balances the amount of water in your body and reduces water retention. Also, the pH balance of the body is related to minerals. Mineral balance helps your nerves, muscles, heart, and brain to work the way they should. You can protect yourself against high blood pressure, stroke, water retention, osteoporosis, bone fractures, and muscle injuries by keeping up on your mineral balance. When it comes to RDV, a cup of pumpkin provides 16% of potassium, 11% of manganese, 11% of copper, 8% of iron, 7% of phosphorus, 6% of magnesium, 4% calcium and 4% of zinc.
The color of pumpkin comes from beta carotene. It’s a kind of carotenoids. Besides giving its vibrant color, carotenoids are antioxidants and a precursor of vitamin A. Imbalances between free radicals and antioxidants cause oxidative stress, which is a trigger for different types of diseases. The antioxidant effects of pumpkin inhibit damage caused by free radicals in the body, protect against inflammatory conditions and diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and cancers, and has lots of benefits for overall health.
A cup of pumpkin (245 g) includes 2.7 g of dietary fiber and it meets 11% of your daily fiber needs. Foods that are high in fiber help to regulate the digestive system. There is increased curiosity (and research) into the theory that all diseases are connected to the digestive system. Scientists are even researching connections between the digestive system and psychology. According to studies, fiber intake provides protection against inflammation, cardiovascular risks, allergies, diabetic complications, metabolic syndrome, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and kidney health. Pay attention to protecting your digestive system, and support it by eating foods high in fiber, such as pumpkin.
5. Low Calorie
Pumpkin is classified as a low-calorie food because it is 90% water. Moreover, a cup of mashed pumpkin has 50 calories (44 cal comes from carbohydrates, 1.5 cal from fat, and 4.5 from proteins). Pumpkin may also be helpful in weight control. High volumes of pumpkin make you feel full easily. That’s why we love eating pumpkin at Halloween.
Let’s enjoy more healthy pumpkin recipes, for the benefits that come from the nutritional value. Pumpkin kisses and harvest wishes.
Happy Halloween! :)