A pumpkin is not just for Halloween
Halloween is everywhere at the moment and all the children are so excited! It's really very cute, though a bit strange, because it was not a big deal here in England when I was growing up. My son and I have already carved and subsequently thrown away two pumpkins (they got mouldy): Our last pumpkin adventure will be this weekend at a party on our friend's farm.
The only sad part about all this pumpkin carving is the food waste. Lots of people are throwing out the delightful orange flesh and seeds as they carve their funny faces...don't do it! Eat it all up - it is tremendously good for you, and here's why.
1. Seasons: Get in touch with your true home (planet earth) and eat seasonally. Halloween and pumpkins are the perfect opportunity to start mindfully applying this habit in your life. Try to find pumpkins which were grown locally.
2. Colours: That luminous orange colour shining up at you means the pumpkin is packed with cell protecting antioxidants; particularly vitamin C and carotenoids. Antioxidants may help to protect us from diseases which are caused by cell damage, such as cancer. Eat your natural colours!
3. Eyes: Just one cup of mashed pumpkin will over meet your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A - a very important nutrient for your vision. Eyes are a bit important.
4. Less biscuits: Pumpkin is super rich in fibre which helps to keep you full for longer. This may save you from dramatically responding to the biscuit tin which is gazing seductively at you during your 3pm office slump. Fibre is also supremely important for overall health for an array of reasons. Eating enough fibre is a cornerstone of a healthy diet.
5. Friendly fats: Pumpkin seeds are packed with anti inflammatory, health giving fats. Don't spend a fortune on expensive face creams; eat good fats!
6. Happiness: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of the amino acid tryptophan - this helps to boost serotonin levels in the body; promoting happier moods.
7. Muscles: Potassium is a very important nutrient for promoting electrolyte balance in the body (vital for life!). Pumpkin is a wonderful source of potassium and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, electrolyte recovery after heavy exercise and muscle function.
Will you eat your pumpkin and its seeds now? I hope so. I will. I'm going to be making the pumpkin bread from the recipe below (except I will substitute the stevia with maple syrup). I hope it will turn out well :-) Happy Halloween!