One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is take my daughter to the Local Pumpkin Patch.
I love everything about Pumpkins, from their cute decorative exterior to their delicious seeds and filling. This special treat comes around once a year, and I love to make pies and bread out of the filling. In addition to being delicious, they offer so many health benefits:
They are Rich in antioxidants:
Pumpkins are packed with a number of immune-boosting antioxidants, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, although given their orange color you may have already guessed this! These antioxidants play a number of key roles in keeping our bodies healthy. They protect our eyes, enhance our immune system and aid in cancer prevention. Alpha- and beta-carotene are also carotenoids, or precursors to vitamin A, which the body uses to maintain healthy vision and skin.High in fiber:
Pumpkins are high in fiber; one cup of pumpkin meat contains 3 grams of dietary fiber! The body uses fiber to control blood sugar, lower bad cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
Low in calories (and fat): At Thanksgiving skip the apple and pecan pie and go for the pumpkin pie. While all that added sugar and butter aren’t the best if you are watching your weight, pumpkin is naturally low in fat and calories (one cup contains only 49 calories), making pumpkin a healthy snack and a better pie option too. One trick I like to do is add cinnamon and nutmeg to my pies and cut down on the sugar.. the spices will bring out the sweetness of the pie enough so that you won’t have to overload on the sugar.
Good source of vitamins: Vitamin A aside, pumpkins contain high amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E, magnesium, potassium and iron.
When you’re at the Pumpkin Patch this year, don’t forget your Pumpkin on the way out! Once you carve your Jack-o-Lantern you’ll have a delicious and healthy snack waiting for the whole family.
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