Little-Known Benefits of Our Favorite Fall Food

Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer – we just can’t seem to get enough of the big orange gourde … 

Pancakes, pie, latte, beer – raise a glass, a cup, or a fork to the great pumpkin! PHOTO: PXHERE, CC

(Megan Ware RDN LD, Medical News Today) 

We used to think of pumpkins as little more than a Halloween decoration.

However, it may be time to rethink this plump, nutritious orange plant.

RELATED: More pumpkin! Making the most of healthy fall foods

Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories.

Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

Uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes.

Possible health benefits

The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.

The antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.

Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. It also gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color.

Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.

Many studies have suggested that eating more plant foods such as pumpkin decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.

It can also help prevent diabetes and heart disease, and promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and a healthful body mass index (BMI).

READ THE FULL STORY AT Medical News Today. Also of interest: A Whole New Reason We LOVE Pumpkin