Pumpkin. It has long been the poster-child of Autumn, and not just on all those decorations, or the pumpkins we decorate for Halloween. Throughout this time of year, we can also partake of all kinds of pumpkin-inspired treats. Pumpkin spice lattes . . . Pumpkin pie . . . you get the picture. While you may be thinking that you have to think twice about your pumpkin spice obsession, we are going to give you good reason to say “Yes!” to this healthy treat.
The Superfood of Fall
Pumpkin is not only delicious, it is also really good for you! This food is loaded with potassium and fiber, both of which can have a positive effect on your waistline and your blood pressure. Oh, and let’s not forget that pumpkin also does your eyes more than a bit of good. Here’s why:
- Pumpkins have zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that have a sunscreen effect on the eyes. These two particular antioxidants also fight the free radicals that could cause eye disease.
- Vitamin A in pumpkin builds eye strength to see well in low-light. The cornea also receives protective power from this vitamin.
- Vitamin C in pumpkin can help lower the risk for sight-stealing diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Not all Pumpkin Food is Superfood
Before you plan your mornings around that trip to Starbucks, let’s talk about the issue of real pumpkin versus pumpkin flavoring. A good amount of the pumpkin-inspired treats that are sold to us are pretty high in sugar content. Those yummy breads and cakes, and, sadly, even the average pumpkin pie. Sugar-containing pumpkin recipes need not be eliminated from your menu altogether; just take care not to overdo it. Sugar could counteract all the goodness that real pumpkin has to offer.
Want to indulge? Try this:
- Whip up a pumpkin smoothie sweetened with honey or stevia.
- Brew a pumpkin soup loaded with fall vegetables.
- Roast pumpkin as your main course or a tasty side dish.
- Bake pumpkin seeds and season with a dash of salt.
Fall isn’t really Fall without the robust fruit we love to eat and decorate with. Enjoying healthy pumpkin treats satisfies your taste buds while also nourishing your eyes.
We wish you a happy Fall!
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