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5 Reasons Your Body Loves Pumpkin Season Too!

Photo via beanurbanfarmer.com

Pumpkin is EVERYWHERE during the beautiful fall season and we all go crazy for it! The good news is your body can benefit from the pumpkin overload that your mind and taste buds crave. Let’s be honest for one minute here; your pumpkin spice latte probably does not have real pumpkin in it. Also, the benefits listed below aren’t good reasons to eat pumpkin cream cheese muffins everyday. BUT you should indulge in pumpkin treats every once in a while and explore some healthy pumpkin recipes this fall to reap these awesome pumpkin plusses:

1. FIBER Keeps You Full: Pumpkin has a really good fiber-to-calorie ratio (7 g. of fiber for every 80 calories) so it can keep you feeling full and satisfied without consuming tons of calories. In case you weren’t sure, more fiber and fewer calories equals weight loss!

2. Beta-Carotene Can Fight Cancer: Just like with carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkin’s festive orange hue means it’s a great natural source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene may be influential in fighting cancer and you’re much better off getting it through food than a supplement. It’s good to eat orange!

3. Carotenoids Keep You Young: The same antioxidants that make your body a lean, mean, cancer-fighting machine also help your skin stay young and beautiful by slowing down the development of wrinkles.

4. Potassium Gives You Energy: Similar to bananas, pumpkin puree packs a powerful dose of potassium that can help you refuel after a workout. In fact, one cup of cooked pumpkin actually has MORE potassium than a banana. Pumpkin’s potassium will help your body restore its electrolyte balance so your muscles can continue to function properly.

5. The Seeds Are Super:  Pumpkin seeds, often thought of with nostalgia, are actually powerful super foods for your health! Can you believe a little seed can pack in protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc? These nutrients, plus the high level of phytosterols in pumpkin seeds, can help ward off depression, lower risk of bladder stones, reduce cholesterol, and help prevent cancer.

So go ahead, roast some pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin waffles, or try a savory recipe like this one for Pumpkin Risotto. Your body will thank you.