Author: Bisleen Attli
Fall is the season of cozy sweaters, scarves and of course pumpkin-flavored everything. Luckily, pumpkins are actually a great source of nutrients. And no, I don’t mean that grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Artificial pumpkin sources are full of additives and will not provide you with the same nutritional benefits. If you want to reap the benefits of pumpkins go for canned, frozen or fresh sources. Other great sources include pumpkin oil and seeds!
One of the reasons that pumpkins are so nutritional is because they are rich in both beta-carotene and tryptophan. Beta-carotene is the precursor to Vitamin A in the body, and acts as an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps boost our immune system by providing protection from free radicals. On the other hand, tryptophan is an amino acid that gets converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter in our body that boosts mood and promotes relaxation.
Pumpkins are also rich in zinc, which supports a healthy immune system and promotes good prostate health in men. And if all those reasons were not good enough to get you on the pumpkin bandwagon, here’s another great reason to eat more pumpkin this fall! Pumpkins are high in nutrients and low in calories, which means that by eating them you can curb cravings and stay full for a longer period of time. One cup of mashed pumpkin is about 50 calories and brings in 3g of fiber, which we all need to get more of!
Your Pumpkin Action Plan:
Pumpkins are an extremely versatile food and can be added to a wide variety of dishes. For breakfast, you can add them to your oatmeal or even your pancakes and waffles for a delicious pumpkin-flavored meal packed with nutrients!
Use Organic Bloom Bazaar’s Kabuli Chana to create a chana masala dish but diversify it by adding in pumpkin puree. It will increase the nutritional content of the dish and taste delicious with all of the warming spices and hearty chickpeas.
One of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin is by making a protein pumpkin smoothie. Simply mix pumpkin puree, your favourite alternative milk beverage, vanilla protein powder, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla extract in a blender. This is a much better alternative to the artificial pumpkin-flavoured drinks you can buy at coffee shops.
Have a little extra fun transitioning into this Fall season by experimenting with pumpkins. Share your favourite pumpkin recipe below!
About the author
Bisleen Attli is a third-year naturopathic medical student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine who is passionate about inspiring others to achieve their best mental and physical health. You can reach Bisleen on her Instagram @bisleenattli or her website http://www.bempoweredbyb.com.