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.
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.
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:
- Spiced Pumpkin Bread (Cooking Light)
- Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup (Eating Well)
- Spiced Pumpkin Cookies (Eating Well)
- Chai-Spiked Pumpkin Latte (Spa Bettie)
- Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie (Oh She Glows)
- Pumpkin, Fig & Pomegranate Upside-Down Cake (Daily Garnish)
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!