Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays are bursting with seasonal veggies like brussels sprouts, cabbage, squash and especially pumpkins. There’s more to pumpkins that jack o’lanterns and pies! Look better and feel stronger with more pumpkin added to your diet.
Extend your summer glow
Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene as are brightly coloured vegetables like carrots and peppers. When we eat foods like pumpkin, our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A which is known to help promote healthy skin. It’s almost as if Mother Nature planned for Fall seasonal vegetables just after the natural vitamin D we get from the sunshine. Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant which works to prevent ageing and well now, that’s a bonus!
Having too much vitamin A has been known to cause an almost yellow tinge on some people’s skin. A healthy amount of daily vitamin A recommended by the Mayo clinic varies between men and women. 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.
Promote healthy weight
Each cup of cooked pumpkin has roughly 3 grams of fibre. The extra fibre in our diet helps us to not only feel fuller but also helps aid in healthy digestion. Pumpkin is very low in calories with only roughly 50 calories per cup, making it the perfect “fill up” food for those looking to lose or maintain a healthy body weight. Instead of snacking on potato chips at night, try replacing those snacks with baked pumpkin cubes tossed in olive oil and your favourite seasoning. Just remember not to have too much salt before bedtime to prevent water retention. Nobody likes an extra bathroom break at 3:00 am!
Post workout boost
After your workout, it’s important to eat foods which help your body to refuel and replenish electrolytes. Athletes have turned to the ever reliable banana due to the high level of potassium to help prevent muscle cramps. Did you know that pumpkin actually has more potassium than a banana? Yup, it’s true! Although it is much more convenient to peel back a banana after the gym, eating one cup of pumpkin with your post workout meal offers about 10% more potassium.
Fight back against cold and flu season
While pumpkin itself as a whole is a great source of zinc, those little seeds inside are packed with zinc. As medical research has developed over the years, the common cold is still one illness that we battle with this time of year. While experts once believed that increasing zinc in one’s diet would prevent a cold, it turns out it doesn’t actually do much to stop you from getting sick. However, studies by the Mayo Clinic show that it can help to reduce the length or severity of the virus. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of health benefits to give us reason to snack on them. Next time you are fighting a cold or flu, try snacking on pumpkin seeds to help you bounce back quicker. Another “perfect timing” example of how pumpkins are meant to grow in the fall, just when we tend to get hit with a cold or the flu. That makes two for Mother Nature and pumpkins!
Our Fresh Healthy Cafe fall menu has delicious seasonal features like our Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. The yummy way to add more pumpkin to your day! To find a Fresh Healthy Cafe near you, check out our locations map here.