The Great Pumpkin: “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” – Linus
Linus may have thought there was only one Great Pumpkin, but in reality, ALL pumpkins are great! Why? They’re nutritional powerhouses!
Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that not only gives pumpkins their distinctive orange color, but also protects your cells from the damage of free radicals. Once you’ve carved your jack-o’lantern, use that antioxidant-rich pureed filling in a variety of delicious and healthy ways including pies, muffins, and even pancakes. Roast the seeds to provide a healthful snack that’s rich in protein, minerals (especially iron, zinc), and essential fatty acids. They’re also an excellent source of tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin – so they may even be helpful for anxiety and depression!
And the health benefits don’t stop there: Pumpkin seed oil, pressed from the roasted, hulled seeds, is helpful for benign prostatic hypertrophy, especially when combined with saw palmetto herb. The oil has a rich, nutty flavor that can be used for salad dressings, for cooking with, or for drizzling over grilled vegetables, fish, goat cheese, or your favorite soup (pumpkin, perhaps?).
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