Please pass the pumpkin pie (Health benefits of pumpkin)

I was putting an appointment on my calendar the other day and went into shock when I realized that Thanksgiving is next week.

Next week!

I just couldn’t believe it was so close.  For some reason, I thought we had another two weeks at least.  I must have been living in a bubble.

After I went into a brief panic about all that I need to do before Turkey Day, I started to get pretty excited about one thing…

Pumpkin pie.  Specifically, my mom’s homemade pumpkin pie.

I’m a total pumpkin freak in general, so it probably isn’t surprising that pumpkin pie is my favorite Thanksgiving dish.  However, you may be surprised to know that it is also one of the healthiest dessert options you’ll probably find on the table next Thursday.

(source)

Why you should eat some pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving

  • Pumpkin is extremely rich in beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene has been shown to protect people from a variety of cancers, including those that affect the stomach, esophagus, lungs, and colon.
  • The beta-carotene in pumpkin can also help to prevent heart disease.
  • Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and a great source of fiber.  In fact, a half-cup serving contains more than 6 grams.  Yay, for being regular!
  • Pumpkins are a source of carotenoids  (which create the orange color).  Carotenoids neutralize the effect of free radicals which cause premature aging.
  • It contains lutein and zeathanthin (types of carotenoids), and they are known for protecting the eyes and possibly preventing cataracts.
  • Thanks to all its vitamins and minerals, pumpkin gives us healthy glowing skin.  Just don’t eat so much that you turn orange!  I swear that almost happened to me last year. ;)
  • It’s loaded with zinc which promotes strong bones and boosts the immune system.  Zinc has also been linked to reproductive health.

 

The easiest and most convenient ways to get your dose of pumpkin are through eating pumpkin seeds or buying the canned variety (my favorite is Libby’s and the organic kind from Trader Joe’s).

For your eating pleasure, here are some recipes that involve pumpkin:

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?  Aside from pumpkin pie, I love pumpkin smoothies.  In fact, I’ve been making one every morning for the past few weeks!

Happy Thursday!

erin

9 Comments

  1. I love healthy reasons to eat dessert! Thanks for the info and for the links. :)

  2. I made my first pumpkin smoothie this week – minus the crust I thought I was drinking a pumpkin pie – ha! I love pumpkin seeds and recently stocked up on multiple bags at TJ. When I crave pie I crave pumpkin pie:) A close second would be pumpkin cheesecake – not as healthy though. NOW I want some darn PUMPKIN PIE – have to wait until next Thursday!!!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Sorry! I didn’t mean to bring on a massive pumpkin pie craving! :)

  3. love that picture of you! i’d liketo try a pumpkin smoothie. do you have a recipe?

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Aw, thanks. :)

    You can try the one from Oh She Glows that I linked to on the bottom of the page, but here’s the one I make:

    1/2 frozen banana
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
    Stevia, to taste (optional)

    Blend it up and enjoy! :) You can also add a graham cracker to the mix. Let me know if you try it!

    Cravesadventure Reply:

    Thanks for the receipe. I switched out the banana yesterday for chard and coconut milk for almond milk – needed a little Stevia though:) Silk makes a Pumpkin Pie Spice – tried that on Monday – pretty good and gave it a little kick!

  4. Oh heaven’s girl, I’ve been having pumpkin in EVERYTHING lately!!!! I really feel good with all the vits I get from it ;) I could be turning orange!!

    xxoo

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Haha. I am sure that orange would be a good color for you. ;)

  5. Oh I love anything pumpkin especially pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins.

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