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The Halloween Scoop: The health benefits of Pumpkin

20-10-2017

It’s that that pumpkin-flavoured-everything time of year again. Whether it’s in your favourite Starbucks coffee, your Bailey’s booze, or even your Lindor chocolate – thanks to our American cousins, you just can’t escape it! But seriously, let’s talk about pumpkins. Whilst we recommend that you only have a pumpkin flavoured treat every so often, this spooky seasonal veg is actually very healthy.

Orange is the new yellow!

Do you ever go for a banana before a workout? You do it because banana has an excellent level of potassium which will help your cells retain fluid balance, helping to prevent cramping – it’s also a great source of nutrients. What you might not know is that a cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium, a substantial amount more than a banana’s 422! For a more decadent Saturday morning breakfast, try these pumpkin pancakes with salted pecan butterscotch.

dancing pumpkin

Weight loss wonder

Another thing pumpkins are packing with is fibre. Foods which are rich in fibre generally slow down your digestion – leaving you fuller for longer on less calories. 100 grams of cooked pumpkin will get you an astonishing 1.1g of fibre for only 20 calories. Somebody pass me a pumpkin!

halloween-cat

Bad mood buster

You know what they say, a few pumpkin seeds a day will chase your bad mood away – someone important said that… we’re 75% sure of it. Really though, pumpkin seeds are stacked full of the amino acid tryptophan. What does that mean? Well we all know that serotonin is the stuff you need to produce stable sleeping patterns and a happier mood, your body uses this amino acid to create serotonin. Yup, time to stock up on some seeds, especially if you’re affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – yes that’s a thing. Look it up!

mood buster

Men’s health

Doctors recommend eating pumpkin seeds to treat an enlarged prostate due to their rich zinc content. If you’re looking to start a family, it’s time to up your zinc intake if you’re a guy – it’s essential to your sperm production! Need a recipe on how to make your pumpkin seeds even more delicious? Don’t worry, because Jamie Oliver has you covered with this easy guide.

Eye-eye Captain Jack (O’ Lantern)!

What would a pumpkin be without its brilliant and bright orange colouring? Thanks to its abundant supply of beta-carotene, our eyes benefit from not only the lovely colours but also from vitamin A our bodies convert it too! For those who don’t know, vitamin A is essential for good vision.

halloween-benefits

Pumpkin face

We’re not joking. Pumpkin pulp + peel are meant to make a really amazing face mask! Full of enzymes and healthy acids, vitamins A and C and a healthy dose of zinc – these will all help to increase cell turnover and brighten, smooth and soften your skin, what more do you need? Give this face mask a go once with whatever you’ve got left of your pumpkin!

Mary Berry

If you weren’t excited for pumpkin season, we hope we’ve changed your mind! We’re lining up a whole bunch of pumpkin recipes as we type… pumpkin seed pasta, pumpkin soup, pumpkin oat bars, pumpkin hummus (yes!) and we’re even considering swapping out our staple nut butter with this amazing 20-minute pumpkin butter.

QUICK FIRE SUMMARY

  1. POTASSIUMA cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 milligrams of potassium, a substantial amount more than a banana’s 422!
  2. WEIGHT LOSSFoods which are rich in fibre generally slow down your digestion – leaving you fuller for longer on less calories.
  3. GREAT FOR YOUR MOODPumpkin seeds are stacked full of the amino acid tryptophan - your body uses this amino acid to create serotonin which keeps you happy.
  4. MEN'S HEALTHDoctors recommend eating pumpkin seeds to treat an enlarged prostate due to their rich zinc content.
  5. GOOD FOR YOUR EYESThanks to its abundant supply of beta-carotene, our eyes benefit from not only the lovely colours but also from vitamin A our bodies convert it too!
  6. SOFTEN YOUR SKINHelps to increase cell turnover and brighten, smooth and soften your skin, what more do you need?

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