Pumpkins: Fun to carve, healthy to eat

by: Dr. Chad Laurence for the Weekly Record
Fall is almost here, and with that comes the time to begin pumpkin hunting, carving and… eating? Consuming pumpkin and pumpkin seeds offers loads of health benefits as well. With so many delicious pumpkin recipes available and the super nutritional rewards, it is no wonder why pumpkin makes a great addition to your diet.

Nutritional superstars

Pumpkins are valuable sources of vitamins and minerals. Its carotenoids are the reason for a pumpkin’s orange and yellowish color.
These free radical fighters have shown in some studies to help prevent cataracts, promote eye health and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which can cause blindness.
The carotene in pumpkin helps reduce inflammation in the body, and several studies suggest pumpkin can even help slow the aging process. Pumpkin contains such essential minerals as zinc and iron. Lack of zinc in the diet can contribute to osteoporosis, and iron is an essential component of the red blood cells. Pumpkin is also rich in the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Besides being chock full of fiber, which aids in intestinal and bowel health, pumpkins are nutritionally rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and K as well as B-complex.
For those trying to lose weight in a healthy way, pumpkin is naturally low in calories and fat content. Pumpkin’s nutrients also assist in lowering the risk of heart disease and enhancing the immune system, and can be beneficial in managing bladder infections, kidney stones and some parasitic/intestinal problems……….
Read more: http://www.ydr.com/southern/ci_28775146/pumpkins-fun-carve-healthy-eat
Source: YDR