The Health benefits of pumpkin pie
The Health benefits of pumpkin
Thanksgiving is around the corner and who can resist an extra slice of homemade pumpkin pie? I know I can’t and it seems there might not be a reason to with all the different health benefits boasted by this abundant, delicious viney vegetable.
Pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A featuring some of the highest levels of vitamin A of any vegetable. Vitamin A is proven to be powerful natural antioxidant and helps the body to maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous. The high levels of carotene in this orange gem, convert into Vitamin A, shown to be essential for good eye health.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard school of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition beta-carotene has demonstrated a positive relationship in the reduction of the occurrence of prostate cancer. It has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.
One of the amazing things about pumpkin is it contains no cholesterol or saturated fats, allowing it to be recommended by dietitians for helping control cholesterol and reduce weight gain. It also boasts only 26 calories per 100g, making it one of the lowest calorie vegetables available. It is also rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins.
Make sure not to throw away the pumpkin seeds, as they themselves are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, known to be good for a healthy heart. The seeds are also considered a source of concentrated form of protein, vitamins and minerals. This includes high levels of iron, niacin, selenium, zinc and the amino acid tryptophan which has been shown to help you sleep better.
The research agrees with the health benefits of pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing high blood pressure. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
Don’t just limit your pumpkin consumption to an annual pie though; having the benefits of this densely packed vegetable makes it a great addition to smoothies, soups, salads, preserves and many other uses.
Sadly, pumpkin is probably the only healthy ingredient in that great big slice of pie. But I still don’t think that will stop me from having another slice!