Colorful leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkin spiced aftershave, oh my! Fall wouldn’t feel festive without the vibrant orange fruit we all know and love, the giant American pumpkin. This versatile squash variety frequently appears on decorative tabletops and in seasonal craft beers, and it’s one of the first signs of the rapidly approaching holiday season.
Around this time of year anxiety looms over the inevitable holiday weight gain, but take a deep breath and relax because pumpkins have multiple health and beauty benefits that will help prevent cancer and even wrinkles! When friends and family members whip up sinful pumpkin treats this season you can feel especially confident about taking that extra bite.
Believe it or not pumpkin can actually help you avoid those seasonal pounds! This valuable ingredient is rich in fiber, low in calories, and keeps you fuller longer. It’s also packed with vitamin A, a nutrient that helps our eyes to see in dim lighting. Just one cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Due to the abundance of antioxidants like beta-carotene, which gives the pumpkin its signature orange hue, pumpkin also plays a role in preventing cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. In addition to fighting cancer, Health Magazine reported that the carotenoids found in pumpkin also keep skin smooth and wrinkle free.
Even the pumpkin seeds, which contain vitamin E, zinc, manganese, and a plentiful assortment of other antioxidants, can help the heart muscle by lowering artery clogging cholesterol. Plus if you are looking for a natural energy bar to refuel your body, pumpkin is packed with more potassium than bananas so it can help restore your body’s electrolytes after a hefty workout. Check out this recipe for a quick and easy pumpkin protein bar from bodybuilding.com. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-easons-livefit-recipes-pumpkin-protein-bars.html
Embrace the cancer fighting, wrinkle reducing, eye improving pumpkin this season, and find solace knowing that holiday treats don’t have to feel sinful, especially if they contain this one of a kind super squash.