It's pumpkin season! While some might roll their eyes at all the pumpkin spice provisions that come out in the fall, pumpkin-lovers can rejoice: pumpkin can offer a good deal of nutrients when it's incorporated into the diet in non-processed ways.
Your favorite orange Halloween decoration can do more for you than sit on your porch and look festive. While you’ve likely noticed a designated aisle at the grocery store with pumpkin-flavored everything lately, many of those processed treats are high in calories, so–with all the candy going around this month–they are the last things we need to eat. Luckily, everyone's favorite fall squash actually offers great nutrients when it's incorporated into recipes.
Looking to add more pumpkin into your diet? Thankfully, there is no need to feel bad about it, because one cup of cooked pumpkin contains:
Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which help break down the “free radicals” that are responsible for damaging healthy cells in your body ("free radicals" are substances commonly found in our bodies that are caused by digesting food, sunlight, and toxins like pollution or smoke). While pumpkin itself offers a variety of nutrients, the seeds can make tasty and healthy snacks, too. Packed with nutrients, pumpkin seeds are beneficial to your body in several ways, including helping your skin and promoting healthy bone growth. The seeds also offer manganese, which can aid in sleeping better and boosting your mood – who wouldn't appreciate that?
If you haven't already been convinced to add more pumpkin to your diet, maybe some tasty pumpkin seed recipes will do the trick. To reap the benefits of your porch pumpkin, check out the easy pumpkin seed recipes below.
But first, one quick tip for picking apart your pumpkin: Cut open the pumpkin and scoop out the insides using a spoon. To separate the seeds from the flesh, add the contents of the pumpkin to a bowl of water. The seeds should float to the top, then you can use your hand or a spoon to brush off any remaining strings or pumpkin from the seeds. Scoop the seeds out and dry them on a plate by dabbing them with a napkin.
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