HALLOWEEN’S HIDDEN HEALTH SECRET
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 6, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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?).
Click the “Comment” Button to let us know what your favorite way is to enjoy the Great Pumpkin!
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan