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Superfood: Pumpkins

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It’s pumpkin season, which means we are going to be seeing a ton of recipes containing pumpkin, but what do we know other than the fact that it’s delicious? Did you know it is nutritious and has been thought to reduce the risk of heart disease? Keep reading to find out the benefits of eating pumpkin, along with the best recipes and the best way to cook it.

After researching various sites, we’ve listed the most common benefits found from Huffington post, medical news today, and daily burn.

 

Benefits:

  • Help Eyesight Stay Strong
    • The Beta-carotene found in pumpkins is a powerful antioxidant that converts into Vitamin A once ingested
    • Vitamin A aids vision, especially in dim lighting.
  • Keeping Blood Pressure Healthy
    • Pumpkins are full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Studies have shown that eating enough potassium is just as important as decreasing the amount of sodium to treat high blood pressure.
    • Phytoestrogens help prevent hypertension, which is found in pumpkin seed oil. According to a study, pumpkin seed oil can help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks!
  • Great After Workout Snack
    • Move over banana, a cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium (compared to 422 milligrams in a banana)
  • Boost Daily Fiber Content
    • The suggested fiber intake is between 25 – 30 grams, but the average intake in the U.S. is just 15 grams. There are 3 grams of fiber in cooked pumpkin and 7 grams in canned pumpkin, this can help the fiber shortage dilemma faced in the U.S.
    • Fiber helps with promoting regular bowel movements, smooth digestion, and reducing the risk of colon cancer.

 

Fun Fact:

                According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest pumpkin pie weighed 3,699 pounds and was 20 feet in diameter! It was made in New Bremen, Ohio on September 25, 2010. Below is a photo taken of the enormous pie.

 

 

Best Way to Cook:

                According to Fit Clarity, boiling pumpkins aren’t the best way to cook them, since it will take away most of the nutrients. The most recommended method of preparing pumpkins is steaming, since it keeps most of the vitamins intact. Also, try rinsing instead of soaking, cooking pumpkin whole, using the microwave, baking or roasting, and using healthy oils. To learn more about why you should use those methods click here.

For some healthy recipes containing pumpkins click here.

 

Sources

http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610.php

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28800936

http://www.webmd.com/diet/video/how-to-keep-nutrients-in-vegetables

http://www.fitclarity.com/how-to-get-the-most-nutrition-when-cooking-pumpkins/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22082068

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-pie-pumpkin

http://www.pumpkinnook.com/giants/pumpkinpierecord.htm

http://dish.allrecipes.com/healthy-pumpkin-recipes/


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