Halloween may have been and gone but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying the health benefits of pumpkin, especially as it's in season.
Very few people realise just how nutritious pumpkins can be and the benefits they offer your body.
Everything from disease-fighting vitamins to powerful antioxidants are packed into each pumpkin.
The first thing you notice about pumpkin is the colour. That bright orange is an immediate indicator of beta-carotene, also found in carrots, but it is a pro-vitamin that converts to Vitamin A in the body and is known for its powers in boosting the immune system and keeping your eyes healthy.
Around 115g of pumpkin is equal to twice the daily amount of carotenoids your body needs so it can’t hurt to add pumpkin into your soups stews and other meals.
Other nutrients you’ll find in each pumpkin include pantothenic acid, vitamins C, E and a high level of fibre without high calorie numbers to worry about.
Pumpkin is also packed with those tasty little seeds, a perfect snack and a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a natural alternative to your multivitamin.
Pumpkin seeds include high levels of protein, potassium, magnesium and zinc and they are said to provide health benefits thanks to the high levels of phytosterols, which are known for helping to lower cholesterol and can even prevent some types of cancer.
If you’re not choosing to simply snack on pumpkin seeds then how do you eat pumpkin?
It can be treated just like other vegetables such as butternut squash or swede and it makes a great base ingredient for soups, working wonderfully with a wide range of different spices.
You can make sugar-free and low-sugar sweet treats with pumpkin such as American-inspired pumpkin pie or even pumpkin muffins.
You could also give our aromatic pumpkin and white bean stew a go!
My partner roasted some pumpkin seeds straight from the pumpkin with some paprika and salt last week. They are very tasty, but not as nice as the toasted ones I do with dried pumpkin seeds from the health food shop. Good not to waste the pumpkin seeds though.
Pumpkin and white bean stew sounds amazing, and just what I need on this wet cold day.