Its that time of year
You see everyone in boots, scarves, hats, and probably donning a Starbucks cup full of a pumpkin spice latte, coffee, scone, bread, you name it! But I've got to be honest, I prefer my pumpkin baked or roasted, and not with coffee beans.
I bet you didn't know that the Pumpkin is more than just a fall marketing ploy! I know... you mean, companies have exploited this nutritious food as a way to make a profit? Say it isn't so!
I started looking into it because I knew that pumpkin was used for dogs, when they have upset stomaches. And I had heard around the water cooler that it is starting to pick up speed being used as a recovery agent. So I started to do some digging.
How else can we use pumpkins, other than creating a kick-ass front door display for Halloween?
Well, I heard correctly. Pumpkin's use as a recovery agent is widely under used. In fact, it beats the ever-popular banana when it comes to its levels of potassium. And that is why people walking out of gyms tend to be noshing on bananas, it restores electrolytes and reduces blood pressure. While I don't expect to see you walking out of a gym eating a piece of pumpkin like a watermelon, I do have alternatives you can use. This time of year it is easy to find organic canned pumpkin, so if you don't want to roast one yourself, you can throw 1/2 a cup of the canned pumpkin into your post workout smoothie to reap these benefits.
Move over carrots! This orange jewel just took your place as the vision-boosting agent. Its vitamin A protects the surface of your eyes, which slows down any decline of retinal function. That 1/2 cup of pumpkin I mentioned to put in your smoothie? That right there is 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A. Check that off your list! The beta carotene in pumpkin converts all of that Vitamin A into an anti-inflammatory agent, which is another reason why it helps with post-workouts but also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. Inflammation has been linked to a lot of anatomical issues these days.
As if those items previously mentioned weren't enough, it is also an amazing source of fiber which promotes healthy digestion, as well as tryptophan. No, this won't give you a wicked afternoon nap, but instead it improves the quality of your sleep and mood regulation.
Use pumpkin to replace some other unhealthy ingredients in your recipes. Swap it with oil, or butter and not only will you add great taste but also nutrients with less fat and calories.
For some awesome recipes to get these great health benefits you just read about? Check out my favorites here!