Consuming just one portion of cooked pumpkin provides well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A which promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with any degenerative eye disease. Vitamin A can also help form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fibre, potassium and Vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan which is responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood.
Just a small handful of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function. Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of the population are deficient in this important mineral. Magnesium can also help if you suffer from restless legs.
Delicious ways to eat pumpkin
Roast in coconut oil and sprinkling with cinnamon.
Make a hearty autumn soup with chilli flakes & coriander.
Create a healthy risotto.
Slow cook a delicious pumpkin & lentil stew.
Don’t throw away the Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make a great snack food. Just scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the pumpkin and separate out the seeds, and rinse well, then drain & shake in a colander to remove as much of the water as possible. Place them in a single layer on a baking tray and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a relatively short time at a low temperature you can help minimize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the seeds. Whilst warm from the oven, sprinkle with some sea salt & spices of your choice.
Hug in a Mug
2 cups of unsweetened Almond Milk
1/3 cup cooked pureed Pumpkin
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1-2 tbsp (to taste) Honey or Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Sprinkle of Nutmeg
Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir to combine well. Reduce heat to simmer gently for a further 5 minutes. Pour into a large mug – find a comfortable chair and enjoy!