Packed with protein, fibre, potassium and vitamins, pumpkin is the superfood of the autumn season. So before you bin it, take a look at the Detox Bible’s guide to just some of the health benefits that this colourful vegetable can bring…
Feel fuller for longer
Both pumpkin seeds and flesh are packed with fibre, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which is great news if you’re trying to lose weight. What’s more, mashed pumpkin not only helps to control your appetite but is relatively low in calories.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to the feeling of sleepiness. Tryptophan also helps our bodies to make serotonin, the feel-good chemical which helps us to feel happy, relaxed and improves our mood.
Pumpkin flesh is rich in vitamin A, helping to improve and support our vision, especially in poor light. Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy, glowing skin, teeth and bones.
Lowers blood pressure
Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which are believed to help prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure levels.
Protect against cancer
The seeds from pumpkins are rich in anti-oxidants and beta-carotene which are thought to help our bodies protect against cancer.
Good for your heart
The high fibre content of pumpkins helps to look after your ticker. Research carried out in Sweden showed that women who ate a diet rich in fibre had a 25 per cent lower risk of heart disease compared with women who ate a low fibre diet.
So before you bin your lovely pumpkin flesh and seeds, think again. There are plenty of healthy recipes to help you add pumpkin to your diet.
Try roasting the seeds and adding other nuts and seeds to create a trail mix to sprinkle on top of yoghurt or roasting pumpkin chunks along with peppers, onion, courgette, mushrooms and tomato to give roasted veg an autumn twist.
Give it a try and get creative – you’ll be surprised at just what you can do with this versatile and nutritious vegetable!